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THE J p Q 






BRIGHAM YOUNG UNiyEBSir/, ■ -. ...;...-... 







' It is not possible to destroj political serritade while allowing religions servitude 
to remain ; the political springs hj necessity from religions slavery. In that 
place where the priest may say to an entire people, " Surrender to me your reason 
without conditions," the Prince, by an infallible logic, may repeat also, " Surrender 
to me your liberty without control." ' — Quinkt. 


Eonlron : 




Adams's, Mr., addresses in Victoria 

Park . . 30 

Address to the electors of Ayr . . 105 
Advice to those who go to church 

against their will .. 109 

Adventures in Whitehaven 237, 253 

Aggregate meeting of Mormons in 

London . . 80 

Anecdote of the Rev. H. HoUey . . 337 
Answerto Henry Norrington 183,199,216 
Apologies for Moses . . 18 

Archdeacon Hare's mission of the 

Comforter . , 274 

Art independent of Christianity . . 103 
Aspect and expedients of Christi* 

anity . . 147 

'Athenffium's,' the, estimate of Robert 

Owen .. 194 

Atheistical open-air preaching . . 337 
Baptist riots in Jamaica . . 273 

Beldagon church . . 131 

Bible, the, an archseological curiosity 217 
Bible test of superstition, the . . 323 
Brother Dick fulfilleth a revelation 240 
Can sceptics be philanthropists . , 295 
Catholic polity, the . . 39 

Catholicism, the type of the churches 

around us . . 297 

Character of Christ, the 329, 376 

Charles George Harding . . 248 

Christianity of Christ, the . . 81 

Christianity V. infidelity ., 311 

Christ's death humanly justifiable . . 237 
Civil rights of Jews, the . . 291 

Clerical subscriber, a, and the ' Critic ' 314 
Conversion of Anastasius, the . . 275 
Confessions of a Quaker . . 184 

Convert through examining the Bible 29 
Critic, the, and R. W. Emerson .. 173 
Cooper, Thomas, in Scotland . . 65 
Current publications ... 136 

Death of David Hetherington .. 123 
Death of Mr. John Lennon . . 255 

Death of Mrs. Emma Martin . . 349 
Decline of Quakerism . . 87 

Defence of opinion a warfare . . 1 
Defence of opinion against the clergy 

of Lancaster .33, 49, 61 

Defence of the civil rights of atheists 307 

Defence of metaphysics . . 385 
Delay not failure . . 223 
* Devine' witness, a • • 336 
Dismal state of Blairgowrie . . 266 
Disorder and decay in the Estab- 
lished Church • . 3 
Divine socialism .. 225 
Early martyrs, the, not all Chris- 
tians • • 113 
Editor, the, mistaketh Christianity 125 
Edifying examination, an .. 98 
Education and instruction . . 337 
Efifect of circumstances . . 304 
Enemy in the north, the . . 17 
English edition of GauU's works , , 191 
Equality . . 386 
Erroneous quotations from the 

'Eclectic' .. 4 

Essentials of a union for mechanics 289 
Experience of an old Methodist . . 6, 21 
Extraordinary distribution of the 

* Reasoner ' • . 344 

Farewell of the ' Truth-Seeker' . . 106 

Father Newman on relics . . 321 

Fox, W. J., on Godless education 319 

Freedom of opinion in Whitehaven 89 

Freethinking not a disqualification 151 

Free will of Christ . . 216 

Further readings from Mackay .. 286 

George Thompson, Mr., on atheism 328 
Government of the laws of nature, 

the 366, 371 

Hagen, Mr., to a true reasoner . . 378 

Hebrew prayer done in gas . , 46 

Heretic stoker, the . . 267 
History of two nights in Blackburn, 

the . . 397 

History of a visionary, the . . 321 
History of the last trial by jury for 

atheism in England 45, 114, 338 
Holyoake's, Mr., lectures in Gala- 
shiels .. 56 
Hymn of Love . . 1 70 
Important movement in Calcutta .-, 257 
Inquirer in reply to Mr. Chilton . . 12 
Interesting state of Sheffield . . 249 
Irreligious books . . 200 
Jehovah destroyed by his own attri- 
butes .. 233 




Jesus, and the moral aspects of 

Jesus as a man • • 

John of Tuam in London 
Judgment of Christianity 
Kossuth and the Magyars of old . . 
Lancaster controversy, the 125, 141, 157 
Late Joseph Spence, the . . 343 

Lecture on irreligious books • . 71 

Lectures in Paisley . . 77 

Lectures in Glasgow . . 93 

Lectures in "Whitehaven . . 221 

Lectures in Newcastle-on-Tyne •• 286 
Lectures and discussions 338, 359 

Lectures in Stockport . . 365 

Lectures in South Shields . . 264 

Lord Palmerston on free expression 

of opinion «. 346 

Mahometan paradise, the .. 53 

Mary Eeed, Mrs., appeareth . . 317 
Meanings, new and old, of the term 

atheist . . 232 

Medical symptoms of controversial- 
ists «. 43 
Methodist reaction . , 58 
Millar's, Mr., late report .. 393 
Missionary V, God ,. 370 
Modes of interesting the popnlace 209 
Morality independent of religion 152, 313, 

Mormon prophet, the . . 223 

Mysterious rapping, the . . 66 

Naming children . . 202 

New reform in Germany 11, 263 

New dress of women . . 225 

New working man's Bible . . 260 

Non-existence of atheists, the . 103 
Old clo', old clo' , . 289 

On the circulation of freethinking 

works . . 65 

On the word atheist - . 87 

On the sin of going to church 163, 179 
Operations of the Religious Tract 

Society . . 193 

Originality . . 266 

Paganism's new face . . 247 

Pamphlets of Opponents . . 269 

Petition concerning Queenwood 167, 201 
Philosophic type of religion, the 

67, 83, 99 
Phonetics v. Sunday , . 260 

Pictures of hell . . 339 

Polemical intelligence .. 377 

Polite literature . . 289 

Popular English preachers 94, 120 

Popular Christianity, the .. 281 

Prayer for slavery . . 290 

Principles of belief held by a 
searcher after truth . 27 

Progress of the intellect, the 211, 227 

Progress of freethinking in Bedlington 231 

Progress at the Philpot-street In- 

Rationalism and its assurances 

Reading the Bible a penal offence. . 

Readings from Macaulay's essays.. 

Reinforcement , . 

Religion, atheism, and art 

Religious scruples resulting in murder 369 

Religion of Protestants, the . . 268 

Remarkable union of economy and 
taste . . 

Report from Poplar ,. 

Reply of Mr. Norrington 

Rev. Mr. Rees, the, and the Exhi' 

Rev, Mr. Phillips, the 

Rev. Mr. Woodman at the Burnley 
lectures ... 

Rights of women in America 

Robert Owen's eightieth birthday.. 

Ruskin'g, Mr., religious strictnreB. . 

Ruskin's, Mr., works 

Saint Robert Bums 

Saint and the Fisherman, the 

Scene at the Rev. C. Kingsley'e lec- 

Secrets of nature, the . . 

Several matters 

Shorter catechism, the 

Sketches in Scotland .. 

Southwell, Mr., in Glasgoir 
Spencer^s theory of human happiness 
Stockport agency 
Successful escape, a 
Summary of the theology of Plato 
Sun worship .. 

Superhuman power 
Terms of Socialism 
The Hebrew religion, whetsce de- 
rived ,. 
Theodore Parker 

They belong to us ., 

Times, the, and the taxes dtt knoW^ 

To all whom it may concern 
To my fbllow subsoribers to the 
' Reasoner' ,. 

To friends on farms 
Unitarian Quakerism *» 

Yaughan's, Dr., Serm<Ks .. 


Visit to Dundee 
Week, a, in East Lancashire 









396, 391 
.. 266 
.. 119 





.. Mi 

.. t(m 

.. 990 
169, 305 

.. aoi 

Wesleyan conference, the, in N^ew*- 

castle . . 186 

Works of Dr. Lees .. 176 

^I^e Witu&ontr 



They who believe that they have Truth ask no favour, save that of being heard : they dare the 
judgment of Mankind : refused Co-operation, they invoke Opposition, for Opposition is their 
Opportunity. — Editor. 



The eleventh volume of the Reasoner commences with this number, and the 
reader has a right to expect some formal statement of the prospects before us. 
But I am too much occupied with the enemy to make it. During the past fort- 
night I lectured four times in Glasgow, and four times in Paisley ; now I write 
from Dundee. In the next four days I expect to speak in Galashiels, in Glasgow, 
Paisley again, and Carlisle. By the time that this appears I shall be engaged in 
the defence of Opinion against the Reverend James Fleming, of Lancaster. 
Amidst incessant peregrinations it is not possible to render such an account of 
our stewardship as I am anxious, and otherwise prepared to present. It is, how- 
ever, a good augury that we are so much employed in making progress as not to 
have time to report it. One sign of onwardness is, that the Newspapers are begin- 
ning to think our proceedings matters of public interest. When the Press begins 
to report us, the Pulpit must debate with us. The audiences I have met lately 
have been, in all places, greater than I have ever met before. I speak of an aver- 
age estimate ; and although the terms of admission have been higher than usual, 
it has not affected the numbers, which have exceeded the facilities of ventilation in 
some of our halls. The last volume has been the most prosperous of this series, 
and I expect to find, on balancing the accounts, some small salary in my favour as 
editor. The Shilling List, when some subscriptions to hand are acknowledged, 
will reach nearly or quite two thousand shillings. On my return to town I shall 
prepare some papers on important plans for the future. Now I can venture only 
on one detail. The Wrapper of the first Monthly Part of this new volume will 
be virtually a Supplement. It will contain a variety of special and permanent 
information which ought to be constantly before our readers. At length we shall 
present parts regularly to the Metropolitan press, and if our readers can do the 
same by the Provincial press, we shall have Monthly notices, and not unfrequently 
discussions of our views. A greater result still is attainable by us of this kind — 
if each reader, who is able to do it, will give his weekly number away to a new 
person each week, and take a Monthly Part for himself, to bind. By this plan our 
circulation would indefinitely increase two ways — one by way of Monthly Parts, 
and the other, and more important, through the incessant distribution of the 
Reasoner into new hands. After a time, repeat the gift of copies to friends who 
have not come to feel interest in the views advocated. In other cases, let the 
weekly number be given to neighbours, shopmates, and strangers. Our circle is 
so much a ' working circle,' that I do not doubt that this suggestion will be acted 

Frequently the observation is made to me, ' Why devote yourself to such an 
advocacy as that which the Reaso7ier maintains, when there is this and that topic 

[No. 260.] [No. 1, Vol. XI.] 



to which you might, more profitably to yourself or the public, occupy yourself?' 
I seldom return an answer. The remark does not sound to me like an inquiry or 
even a remonstrance, so much as like a lesson. It shows how much is yet left 
undone in the development of our objects when their directness to the public wel- 
fare is not perceived. In the same manner when I leave a pulpit, as I have just 
done that of the Rev. George Gilfillan, of Dundee, and note the silence main- 
tained about us — how the preacher is able to oflFer to his congregation a case as 
ours which has no feature of ours about it ; when such a course can be taken I 
feel neither anger nor reproach, but retire more and more mindful of the labour 
and duty before me. For a long time I asked the Pulpits to debate with us. I 
ask it now no longer. I express my willingness to meet them, but do no more. 
They put it down as an impertinence when I first requested them, and instead of 
answering courteously, they preserved a contemptuous silence. It is our fault 
that they can do this. We ought to make it impossible for them to keep silence. 
When we enter the field with an enemy, and he can afford to play in his camp 
when we challenge him to battle, he has a right to his play. It is our duty to march 
up and spoil his play — to make it dangerous for him to play ; and if we cannot do 
this, it is of no use whining about it. We must cast about, strengthen our forces, 
and do as men should do under similar circumstances. Complaint is our reproach; 
surprise is but the expression of our inexperience. We must/_^A(. 

How this is all to be done, will be told as opportunity offers. More I have not 
now time to tell ; but this I know, it must be done, and that the right work is 
being done, though partially. We are numerous enough for the work, and I ask 
the earnest to help. We can give disquietude to Zion, which' is not what it pre- 
tends to be, a kind, courteous, fairplay Zion, but a haughty, insolent, proud, de- 
faming, contemptuous Zion. This is the only Zion thiit exists. The front of the 
Church to us is relentless and vindictive. Be it so. Let us not act as children, 
and idly quarrel with all this. It is our fault if it continue so. We have the 
truth and the right on our side, and I pardon all who can treat us rudely. Why 
do we let them ? Why is not the name of Freethinker, or Sceptic, or Rationalist, 
or Atheist, as honourable a name as Christian ? We have ourselves to thank if 
it is not. It sounds as well, and means ;is much that is sincere, and more that is 
publicly useful. We have indulged in considerable coasting about the enemy, now 
let each go to battle in some way or other. War on error ought to be as stern, as 
incessant, as diversified, and as glorious as war on men has been. The hand of 
fellowship and the word of love give to all men, but show them at the same time 
how they miss truth and usefulness to which they might profitably attain. If we 
do not this, our profession of good will is a mere cant. While we say Freedom 
of Opinion is a power, and do not make a power of it, the world laughs at us, and 
has a right to laugh; but it will cease to laugh when we come to make a power of 
our opinions. 

'How gentle Holyoake is— too gentle for his work. He is a lamb who fights 
with wolves,' is the exclamation of many a critic of our course. The truth is, I 
can never resent the rude speeches of Christians. I sit and wonder that these 
men dare be rude, and ask, Why is it ? Respect cannot be had by asking for it : 
it must be commanded, and that is to be effected only by action. It is of no use 
putting on the wolf in words, and playing the lamb in work. Every braggart can 
do this. We must reverse the order. The world is theirs who have & true pur- 
pose, and the industry which never ceases to work for its realisation. 

Abruptly, because hastily, yet earnestly yours, 

Dundee, May 14th, 1851. G. J. Holyoake. 




The clever writer who, under the signature ' D. C. L ,' has in a long series of 
letters in the Morning Chronicle defended the principles and practice of the High 
Church party, makes a furious attack on the Bishop of Manchester in the Chronicle 
of the 21st instant, espousing the cause of the Rev. Mr. Alsop, Incumbent of 
Westhoughton, a correspondence between whom and the bishop has lately been 
published. The priest appears to belong to what is called the Tractarian party. 
The bishop is thus characterised by D. C. L : 'Bishop Lee is z. protege of Lord 
John Russell, and is a model bishop of the new school of liberal Christians, which 
is in some people's eyes to regenerate the Establishment;' and he concludes his 
letter by declaring that ' if there ever has been a bishop more tyrannical, more 
persecuting, more unfair than another, it is Bishop Lee.' The case between the 
bishop and Mr, Alsop is this: in 1848 they had a correspondence on the subject 
of the use of the surplice in the pulpit, and other rubrical observances, to which 
Mr. A>Bop, as a Tractarian, most religiously adhered, but which the bishop, a 
shining light of the Low Church, regarded with the most Evangelical horror. 
D. C. L. thus describes the grounds of Bishop Lee's aversion : * The bishop, while 
a Christian, most tolerant in his creed, most tolerant of differences — tolerant as 
rumour has it, even to qualifying with a " perhaps " the belief in the divinity of 
our blessed Saviour as needful towards belonging to the National Church, — Bishop 
Lee, I say, makes one exception to his liberality, one abatement to his toleration : 
bitterly and unrelentingly does he persecute compliance with the rubric, and belief 
in the one Catholic and Apostolic faith of that portion of the Universal Church of 
which he is a bishop. Mr. Alsop strives to act up to that rubric, and he believes 
in that faith — thence the denial of justice which he has met with.' Extracts 
are given by D. C. L. from some of Mr. Alsop's letters ; he thus defends his at- 
tention to the strict rules of the ritual and rubric : ' I would make the Church the 
educator of all, the protector and almoner of the poor: in reality what it is in 
name, " the congregation of faithful men." *I do not contemplate the restoration 
of the Church of the past, but I must see it something very different from what it 
is now ; I must endeavour as far as in me lies to make it so, or I will not hide the 
truth from your \jriTA&h.\^, I miisthecome an infidel. Am I likely to make ritual 
observances dangerous ? With my strong natural tendency to unbelief, and not 
to superstition, am I not doing the best for myself as well as for others ? Would 
you wish to give me a blow that might cause paralysis, then death ? I leave this 
argument of the inner life. I wish to say here a few words about my use of the 
surplice, as this is the only change to which the people have really objected.' 

What can be more plain, what can be clearer than the meaning of all this ? 
The doctrine of the High Church pnrty approaches to that of Rome; the myste- 
rious eflBcacy of the Sacraments, the absolving power of the priest, and other tenets 
which tickle the vanity and dignify the office of the clergyman, are held by this 
section of the church, and not by the Evangelicals to which Bishop Lee belongs. 
Without the religious excitement and mystifying influence afforded by the contemp- 
lation of these doctrines, and the practice of supposed sacerdotal and almost 
magical functions which Tractarian principles permit Mr. Alsop to believe himself 
specially endowed with power from the Holy Ghost to- perform, he cannot keep 
down the promptings of his reason and sober judgment. He must keep up the 


excitement, he must believe himself an inspired priest, or he must yield to reason, 
and throw off Christianity altogether. 

Some time after this correspondence the Bishop of Manchester, in an address 
at a public meeting of the Society for the Employment of Additional Curates, 
thus made use of Mr. Alsop's free and confidential unburthenings of his feelings : 
' If I find incumbents preferring their wretched ceremonials of a bygone time to the 
vital essence of Christianity, and clinging to the surplice in ministration, instead 
of clinging to the word of truth, and telling me (for unfortunately I am not speak* 
ing of imaginary cases) that they must cling to those antiquated follies, or they 
must become infidels, then on them I will not bestow your bounty.' 

Mr. Alsop was naturally very indignant at this, and complains of the construc- 
tion put upon his words; he writes to the bishop, 'When in the fulness of my 
trust in you I used this strong and unguarded expression, I was thinking, as every 
word in that sentence discloses, of something very different from preaching in the 
surplice. I was thinking of a church in which the ministers would not be com- 
pelled to tell lies and to desecrate their holy office, — in which there might be more 
faith, self-denial, purity, and zeal, less worldliness, pride, covetousness, and sen- 
suality in both priest and people. Such thoughts as these have driven many into 
dissent, as when I considered what our Christianity has been of late they have 
sometimes tempted me to doubt its divine institution.' Did ever an infidel bring 
more severe charges against a church ? What weakness, what wavering, what 
bitter dissensions in the Established Church does this interesting case disclose ! 



Those of our readers who also read the Eclectic Review, will have been puzzled 
to remember in what part of it they could have read the passage quoted as from it 
on page 414 of the Reasoner. We have to tell them that it is not to be found in 
the Eclectic, it being an error to have ever said so. On construing — mis-construing 
one ought to say — some MS., the mistj^e was made. An erratum was ordered to be 
written next week, when Mr. Holyoake leaving town on the same day he forgot it, 
and as he undertook to do it, its omission was not noticed till our attention was 
drawn to it by a correspondent, whom we thank for his attentions. Fortunately 
for us, the paragraph in question was one that our readers would not consider a 
disparagement to that Revieiv, and the only harm we have done, is having printed 
an unintentional misrepresentation of the views entertained in that quarter, 
which we could have no motive for doing consciously. 

G. J. H. 


On Sunday evening, May 11th, and on Monday and Wednesday, Mr. Holyoake 
lectured in Dundee. On Friday he addressed a public meeting in Galashiels, 
convened to petition Parliament on behalf of Secular Education. On Saturday he 
took part in the celebration of Robert Owen's Birthday, in the Communist Hall, 
Glasgow. On Sunday last he lectured in the same city, on Monday in Paisley, on 
Tuesday in Carlisle — and on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, he is to reply to 
the Rev. Mr. Fleming, in Lancaster. 


C^jramitiattnu at tijc Prc^s. 

The Experience of an Olb Methodist. — We take this confession from No. 
150 of the People. Having the pleasure of knowing the writer, we can attest that 
it is a genuine revelation :— It is an awful thing for a man to be compelled to 
separate himself from his kind, in such sense as every one must who, in our day, 
proclaims his repudiation of religious orthodoxy. But, when 1 think of the 
thousands upon thousands, in our own and other countries, whom false notions of 
religion are either making miserable, or withholding from happiness ; when I 
think on the quackery of priests and interested religionists, and on the barriers 
thrown thereby in the way of instruction and enlightenment, notwithstanding the 
progress of our age in science and various ameliorations, I feel humbled, ashamed, 
and compelled, in spite of consequences, to add my mite of power to your honour- 
able efforts. Is it not lamentable that children, born in the nineteenth century, 
should be taught to believe that God is a cruel God — that he is irreconcilable 
without blood; that they should be taught to believe that there is, in this 
otherwise glorious universe, a horrid hell of fire and brimstone, and that millions 
upon millions of God's own offspring will be chained down in liquid fire to all 
eternity — that they should be taught to believe that their own escape from this 
fearful pit of destruction is made to depend on faith in these abominable dogmas, 
more than on their being just and good — that they should be taught and brought 
to believe that salvation depends on abetting and supporting that system of 
priestly-quackery, which presses, like a nightmare, on the souls and bodies of men 
— which prevents their elevation — which chains them to the old antiquated ideas 
of bygone cruelty and ignorance? I say, when one thinks of these things, though 
it is an awful condition to be put out of the sympathy of one's kind, and ranked 
with every thing that is deemed most vile and most worthy of damnation, yet every 
good man will know what are the claims of duty, humanity, and true religion. 
These are the considerations which have induced me to write and send you the 
following account: — From my childhood to my eighteenth year, I attended the 
preachings of the Calvinistic Independents, my parents being members of one 
of their societies. From my eighteenth to about my fortieth year I was an active 
member of the Methodist Society. Though never a very wild fanatic, I was, of 
course, influenced in my life and feelings by the orthodox views on depravity, the 
atonement, endless punishments, &c. Being always a reader, and, in some sort, 
a thinker too, I was far from ever being satisfied with the evidences of Scripture 
inspiration. Thousands of times I referred, mentally, to the temptation of poor 
John Bunyan, wherein the devil whispered the query — ' How do you know but the 
followers of Mahomet have as good evidence of the miraculous nature of their 
prophet, as you have concerning Christ's.' And as often have I queried whether 
the doubt was not from a different source than the ' Father of lies.' In fact, I 
rather hoped, and tried to persuade myself, that our belief was right, than assuredly 
believed. Moreover, from what I have known of the experience of others, I aver 
that there are very few thinking orthodox believers who are not in the same con- 
dition. This universal doubt says little in favour of Bible revelation. We never 
doubt gravitation, or any other great revelation of God in nature. It was from 
the steady, though slow operation of my own reason, more than from any other 
cause, that I first began to repudiate, one after another, several of the principal 
orthodox doctrines. I believe the notion of endless punishments was the first 
upon which my mind gave way. I reasoned thus — If I could not find it in my 
own heart to torment my own child, in such an awful manner, for a single day, nor 


even for a moment, how can I believe that God, who must be the author of my best 
feelings, and the inspirer of my best thoughts, will torment one half of his own 
children in fire and brimstone to all eternity ? The next orthodox notion which 
I discarded, was that respecting the Sabbath day. I believe my first light on this 
subject came from reading Dr. Paley's thoughts upon it, in his ' Moral Philosophy.' 
On a real examination, for myself, I was amazed that, not merely without Scripture 
authority, but in actual opposition to it, Christians had bound this antiquated 
Jewish ordinance to their own system. A third orthodox doctrine which fell from 
under me was that of total natural depravity. The process by which I was freed 
from this delusion was curious. It was from reading and reasoning upon the 
Mosaic account of what is called * the fall of man,' in Genesis. I by no means 
began by disputing the inspiration of the story ; I rather got a more elevated idea 
of what was meant by it. I saw that no such thing as total depravity was intended ; 
and my imagination, aided by the words of the passage, made it into a beautiful 
allegorical account of man's elevation by the acquisition of knowledge. I had long 
lamented man's fall, and had all but blamed the Almighty for permitting it; and 
few can have an idea how pleased I was with my new discovery. And before any 
one ridicules my peculiar fancy, let him look at the passage and see if it is not as 
like truth as the commonly-received notion. I know not how I reconciled the 
New Testament interpretation of the affair : but these cogitations did not last 
long, for h&ving put into my hands one of the controversial works of Dr. Chan- 
ning, my fine fabric fell to the ground, and my views underwent a further and 
more consistent change. During the progress of these changes, my notion of 
sects and creeds, and of the meritoriousness of faith, were all turned topsy-turvy. 
The light which I had got enabled me to see that they were all nonsense. But 
none can tell — except the man who has experienced it — the occasional heart-rend- 
ing, and the mental anguish, caused by such a revolution of the soul, and such 
a renunciation of all that the mind has previously rested upon. I still wished, 
even longed, to preserve my faith in the general inspiration of the Bible. I 
had hitherto no idea of finding any imperfection in Jesus, or the New Testa- 
ment: and, in a Society which I joined for the discussion of religious subjects, 
I read some papers, to the effect that the whole Bible was a true revelation from 
God, and that its varied morality was only a proof that Infinite "Wisdom con- 
descended to the various conditions of the world's different ages, &c. But I did 
not long stop here. By reasoning I soon became convinced, that in the mind of 
God there could be no degrees in morality ; that what was right and wrong at one 
period, must be so always. After this rubbish was removed, I began seriously 
to consider whether such and such portions of Scripture could really be inspired. 
First, with the aid of Dr. Priestley, the miraculous conception of Jesus was dis- 
carded. Next went such accounts as the sacrifice of Isaac by his own father; the 
commission of the Israelites to destroy the nations of the Canaanites ; and David's 
being the man after God's own heart, while the Bible's own account made him a 
tyrant, an adulterer, and a murderer. Moreover, while my mind was in this state, 
I happened to hear a course of lectures on Geology, which was an entirely new 
subject to me. These lectures seriously shook my faith iu Genesis. On further 
attention to the same subject, by reading, Moses was quite overthrown. I had 
long been heartily sick of the worldliness of all modern religious systems, and of 
the excessive pMiy spirit of religionists, and I now was brought to regard sectarian 
parties with a degree of loathing. It is true I occarionally attended the Unitarian 
preachings, but more as a matter of form than anything else. 

[To be concluded.] 


€f)e ^ehiiio ^XtliQian: ixtftmt Sfrtbrtr. 


The method adopted by Paine in re- 
futation of the priestly dogma, that 
the Bible was the revealed word of 
God, was admirably adapted to his 
peculiar talents. He tried it by the in- 
ternal evidence it contained of its au- 
thenticity, and by a comparison of its 
physical philosophy with the indisput- 
able facts of science. The method of 
Strauss in the * Leben Jesu,' testing by 
strict criticism and historical analysis 
the claims of the New Testament upon 
our belief in its genuineness and au- 
thenticity, was also appropriate to Ger- 
man genius and requirements. That 
beautitul and candid confession of the 
religious struggles of a life, ' The Phases 
of Faith,' tests the Jewish and Chris- 
tian systems by the criterion ot the 
moral sense, aided by historical criti- 
cism; and all these methods have their 
merits. But they do not exhaust the 
subject. Egyptian history discloses 
that the Hebrew chief, at once the priest 
and the statesman of the tribes of Israel, 
derived his religion fiom the Egyptians; 
comparison showing that the two creeds, 
the two cosmogonies, and the two sets 
of rites are so astonishingly alike as to 
he, unmistakably, from the same source. 
There are, it is true, some important 
practical differences, but they are only 
sufficieiit to make that which would 
otherwise have been a mere adoption, a 
derivation ; and to mark a new epoch in 
the history of man — the declaration of 
equality before God. 

Opinion is ever on the change ; and 
mutability holds sway over creeds and 
faiths quite as much as over the ma- 
terial of the physical world. There is 
no absolute, unalterable religious belief. 
One race of men derives its system of 
fundamental belief and super-imposed 
doctrine and ceremonial from another ; 
and human intercourse diffuses them 
through the world. The first race, or 
tribe, or nation in point of civilisation, 
gives an irresistible impulse to progress, 
and stamps its character for ages. Ex- 
isting religions, so-called knowledge, 
appears to have been all derived — its 
origin being hidden in the unknown 
depths of the past. There in the early 
days, no doubt, the facts of nature, 
ever-present, and ever-recurring with 

unchanging regularity, supplied to the 
thoughtful a key to a cosmogony, and a 
b isis for a religion ; and the more one 
looks into the <1i verse creeds of men, the 
more distinctly does it appear that re- 
ligion is the adoration which man pays 
to the unknown, and which he vainly 
but enthusiastically believes he has 
unveiled, interpreted, and explained. 
Every religion has its roots in the earth, 
though the branches of some may tower 
towards the skies. The best and the 
purest is but an attempted explanation 
of phenomena which lie beyond the 
cognisance of logic and the senses, and 
towards which the aspirations of man 
will yearn for ever and for ever. We 
who know not the relation between cause 
and effect, dogmatise with arrogance of 
the Cause of Life, the mystery of 
Orgnnisation, and the immortality of 
spiritual existence. We are ignorant of 
the sources of the Nile and the interior 
of Africa, and yet we pretend to be fa- 
miliarly acquainted with the creation of 
the earth, the planets, and the sun ! The 
bravest have striven, the subtlest have 
followed phenomena point by point with 
indefatigable zeal, the wisest have 
thought deeply and long — science, phi- 
losophy, fanaticism have each brought 
its quota to the common stock of inter- 
pretation; and what have we gained? 
In the way of belief, the theists remain 
where the old priests of Egypt appeared 
to have arrived ages and ages ago — and 
they trust in the ' Unutterable,' who is 
to be worshipped in silence. In the way 
of knowledge, philosophy has resolved 
that we can know appearances alone, 
and their uses to us. In the way of un- 
belief, the atheist re=ts his case here; 
that the existence of God is simply 'not 
proven,' and that he is content to re- 
main within the bounds of the know- 
able, a student of phenomena. 

And yet, here we are, still disputing 
whether a Book which contains, in one 
volume, the whole of the historical re- 
cords and literature ot a single people, 
shall be held as of divine origin, the 
unique depository of sacred truth, the 
criterion of moral law, the boundary of 
scientific knowledge, the sole and final 
expression of the enigma of the universe ! 
And what does that book contain ? The 


history of a successfully asserted na- 
tionality, and of a derived religion. 

The little that we know of the He- 
brews in Egypt amounts to this, that 
they were slaves. There are few, very 
few, records of their existence in Egypt 
among the tombs and temples of the 
Nile. Travellers have fancied resembl- 
ances here and there, but the unpreju- 
diced inquirer has been unable to trace 
them ; and we may assume it as an as- 
certained fact, that the Hebrews did not 
occupy a sufficiently important rank 
among the Egyptians, to be thought 
worthy of a place among the painted re- 
cords of that wonderful people. The 
story that they built the great pyramid 
is an error. The pyifimid was standing 
when Abraham left the plains of Chaldee 
to dwell for a period in the Valley of 
the Nile. Until the time of Moses, the 
Hebrews had no thought of nationality. 
They lived in some part of the land of 
Egypt, probably worshipping the deities 
of Egypt, and conforming to the cus- 
toms of the Egyptians. Even when 
Moses had led them into the desert, 
their first act of rebellion was to cast a 
golden calf— that is, to make for them- 
selves an image of Apis — one of the 
gods they had been accustomed to adore 
in the land of their bondage. To Moses 
alone is due the honour of founding the 
Hebrew nation, impressing it with a dis- 
tinct character, and imparting to it a dis- 
tinct religion. A slight attention to the 
life of Moses will suffice to show how 
they came by their religion and their na- 

We may accept the story of the Bible 
that Moses was a Hebrew boy, found by 
the daughter of the reigning Pharaoh 
among the reeds of the Nile ; that he 
was brought up in the palace, and edu- 
cated by the priests. And what does 
this involve ? 

In the Egyptian system we find two 
religions ; one for the priests, and one 
for the people. The priesthood was the 
highest caste in the state. They were 
numerous and wealthy; their office was 
hereditary ; they were the depositories 
of knowledge, as well as the authors of 
literature and f cience, and their power 
was unbounded. From their ranks the 
king was taken, :.nd in their hands lay 
the main of the national destinies. They 
stood betweeu che People and their God, 
whose will and pleasure they interpreted, 
and whose worship they ordained and 

directed. Thus was the Egyptian go- 
vernment a theocracy, and its rulers pre- 
tended to hold their power direct from 

But the pride of caste, the arrogance 
of exclusive knowledge, led them to en- 
tertain a very contemptuous estimate of 
the capabilities of the masses to receive 
and bear the truth. Though themselves 
monotheists, holding in reverence a 
being for whom they had no name, whom 
it would have been sinful to name, and 
worshipping this unknown God in 
silence ; yet they invented for the people 
a system of polytheism, a splendid cere- 
monial worship, and formal and sacrifi- 
cial adoration. This public worship of 
the Egyptians appears to have consisted 
of a worship of the deified attributes of 
the one God of the priesthood, presented 
to the people visibly through the sym- 
bols, the idols, and sacred animals. The 
chief temples were at once the palaces 
and "the universities of Egypt; and it 
was in one of these places that Moses 
grew from youth to manhood. 

So situated, adopted by the highest 
caste, and consequently heir to the 
highest knowledjje of his protectors, it 
was thus that Moses obtained the idea 
of the one Supreme God, who was to be 
worshipped in silence ; it was thus that 
he became learned in all the learning of 
the Egyptians, that he was initiated and 
accomplished in the mysteries, and in- 
structed in the belief, and the cosmogony 
of the priesthood; the ceremonial ob- 
servances, the gross polytheism, with 
which they imposed upon the people. 
It was in this school that he learned 
the Egyptian theory of creation. It was 
here he became an adept in natural 
magic. It was in the splendid temples 
of the Valley of the Nile that he as- 
sisted in the performance of those cere- 
monial rites which he afterwards par- 
tially adapted to the vagabond life of 
the Hebrews in the Desert. 

But the Hebrew ? While Moses was 
at Memphis in the palace of the king, 
they were making bricks without straw, 
and their lot was the hard lot of slaves. 
Thoroughly imbued with the supersti- 
tions of their equals nmong the Egyp- 
tians, the simple monotheism attributed 
to Abram effaced and forgotten, except 
by one here and there, they were dead to 
all ideas of nationality. But one day 
Moses slew an Egyptian, who had mal- 
treated a Hebrew, and fled for his life 

into the deserts of Sinai; remained there 
for years, meditated a great design, that 
of freeing his brethren from the double 
yoke of brutalising slavery and not less 
bratalising idolatry ; and when the Pha- 
raoh died, from whose vengeance he had 
fled, he proceeded to execute his design 
— perhaps the greatest, as originally con- 
ceived by Moses, to be found in the 
annals of antiquity. He succeeded in 
founding a nation ; he failed in abolish- 
ing the priesthood, and in eradicating 
rigid ceremonial superstition. The in- 
veterate habits of an ignorant people 
were too strong for his will, and too 
dogged for his ingenuity ; the Hebrews 
sighed, not only for the flesh-pots of 
Egypt, but for the symbolical deities, 
the reigning priesthood, the festivals, 
and sacred months, of that charming 

The religious system which Moses in- 
tended, and that which he was compelled 
to establish, are very difl'erent. He was 
opposed to ceremonial worship, yet he 
was compelled to permit, and even regu- 
late it ; he was opposed to the institution 
of a priesthood, yet he was compelled to 
establish one. But he succeeded in one 
important point — he abolished the mo- 
nopoly of knowledge, proclaimed the 
right of the people to the great national 
ideas, and destroyed the fetishism of priest 
worship. This was a revolution, the like 
of which is not to be found in ancient 
history, and the forefather of many re- 
volutions in modern times which are 
seldom traced to so antique a source. It 
amounted then to the laying bare of the 
most studiously concealed and important 
dogmas taught by the learned Egyp- 
tians, and was, so far, a declaration of 
the spiritual equality of man. This was 
the first, the most important deviation 
which Moses made from the practical 
theology of Egypt. 

The next was significant of many 
things. The Egyptians believed in a 
future life, where the good were rewarded 
and the bad punished. Moses trans- 
ferred the punishment and the reward to 
this life, tacitly denying the dogma of 
immortality, because he appears to have 
thought that reward and punishment are 
the more efficacious the more closely 
they attend on virtue and vice, and be- 
cause he probably had no conception of 
a Hereafter, except the practically use- 
less doctrine of the soul as an emanation 
from the Supreme, in whom at death it 

would become again absorbed. This was 
too refined for the purposes of controll- 
ing the passions of an enslaved and de- 
graded people. Political motives appear 
to have shaped his religious creed most 
likely more than he himself was aware. 
The Hebrews, demoralised by four hun- 
dred years of servitude, and much mixed 
up with men not properly Hebrews, who 
left Egypt in their company, required 
strict discipline and energetic measures 
to raise them to a state of respectable 
manhood as a nation. For that reason 
Moses appears to have subjected them 
to the privations of the desert, and for 
that reason he appears to have made the 
one Supreme God of the Egyptians a 
Tutelary God of the Jews. The sole 
originality of the Hebrew religion lies in 
its departures -from the Egyptian, and 
for these, in part, political and moral 
motives can be assigned. 

A few passages, containing both facts 
and speculations, from Miss Martiueau's 
volume on ' Eastern Life, Past and Pre- 
sent,' will throw some light on this sub- 
ject. She writes, that Moses contem- 
plating the great design of his life, that 
of liberating the Hebrews, saw ' that 
they must be removed from the influ- 
ences which had made them what they 
were, and then elevated into a capability 

for independent social life The 

Hebrews could never become enlightened 
amidst the darkness of popular life in 
Egypt. There could not be spiritual 
life in their houses, while " darkness 
that might be felt" brooded all about 
them. They could never be purified 
while the corruptions of idolatry swarmed 
within their dwellings, and among their 
dress and food — coming up from the 
river, and down upon thera in the very 
air. They could never be elevated in 
views and character while subject to con- 
tempt as "an unclean people" (as Ma- 
netho calls them) and to the wrongs of 

slavery. — They must be removed 

No one knew better than Moses at this 
time, the privileges of life in the Desert. 
He had witnessed the hardihood, the 
self-denial, the trusting poverty, the 
generous hospitality, and the compara- 
tively pure piety of the Arab tribes who 
lived in tents in nature's ascetic retreats. 
These were the very qualities the He- 
brews needed, and could never attain 
elsewhere. It was not civilisation and 
its lessons that they needed. Civilisa- 
tion and slavery were indissolubly con- 



nected in their ideas. Discipline was 
■what they needed ; and not that disci- 
pline from the hand of man which must 
include more or less of slavery; but the 
discipline of Nature, whose service is 
perfect freedom. Here, while relaxing 
from the excessive toil which had broken 
them down, they were in no danger from 
indulgence. Here, while learning en- 
durance, it would not be at the cost of 
that exasperation of feelings which had 
hitherto embittered their hardships. 
They would learn that submission to 
Nature which is as great a virtue as sub- 
mission to Man is a vice. Here, among 
the free winds, and bold suns, and broad 
shadows, with liberty to rove, and ex- 
emption from the very presence of man, 
they might become braced in soul, free 
in mind, and disciplined in body, till 
they should become fit tor an ulterior 

The Hebrews reached the desert in 
safety, and Moses proceeded to legislate 
for them, and to carry out his great 
plans. The chief Idea of Moses was the 
immediate moral government of God. 

' The Supreme, as made known in the 
heathen Mysteries, exercised no imme- 
diate government over men; and in 
order to give them any idea of a divine 
government, national and subordinate 
gods were presented to them, who must, 
of course, be named. Much superstition 
in Egypt was conaected with the names 
of the gods ; and the Hebrews could not, 
as the history shows us, recognise a pro- 
tecting god, who was declared to them as 
a patriarchal, and was henceforth to be 
a national God, but through a Name. 
It was long, many generations, before 
they conceived of Jehovah as more than 
a National God. He was the God of 
their fathers, and their own ; better and 
stronger than the gods of other nations, 
and even their over-ruler : but still, the 
God of none but the Hebrews: — the be- 
nefactor of the children of Abraham, 
but the enemy of the Egyptians and the 
Canaanites. In this last belief, it is evi- 
dent that they wei'e not contradicted or 

That belief was clearly the origin of 
the doctrine set forth in later years that 
the Hebrews were a ' peculiar ' people, 
and clung to now because it is so power- 
ful an auxiliary of the revelation-idea. 

The following shows how Moses was 
led to quit his original simple ideas 
derived from Egypt, and adapt them to 
the Hebrew mind and the altered cii'- 
cumstances of the Hebrew people : — 

' It appears as if there had been an 
intention and a hope of training the 
Hebrews to a state of knowledge and 
obedience by moral instruction, and a 
plan of pure and simple worship ; the 
obedience of Abraham, and thesimplicity 
of his worship in the door of his tent, 
being perhaps the example and the aspi- 
ration which Moses had before him when 
he brought forth the Hebrews from 
Egypt. Warburton and others are of 
opinion that the ritual scheme was adopted 
after the aflfair of the golden calf, which 
showed the people to be more incapable 
of a pure religion and direct communion 
than could have been supposed. A com- 
parison of the two sets of Command- 
ments seems to countenance this view. 
The first set, though falling below the 
inculcation of personal righteousness, 
yet are of a much higher character than 
the second. They aim at a good degree 
of social order, for the age in which they 
were given, and contain nothing ritual, 
except the precept about the Sabbath 
This is the set brought down by Moses 
when he found the people feasting about 
the golden calf, and which he broke and 
threw from him. The second ten, which 
remained permanent, are such as may 
well be believed to have accompanied 
the ritual system now supposed to have 
been instituted. They are all ritual ex- 
cept the first two : these two merely for- 
biddiug all covenanting with heathens, 
and making of molten gods. Tue whole 
set contains no directions for personal or 
social conduct. The fact certainly con- 
veys the impression that a more ad- 
vanced system of Moral Government was 
withdrawn for the time, and replaced by 
one less advanced, in proportion to the 
disappointment caused by the lapse of 
the degraded people. The Jewish writers, 
for the most part, lay the blame of this 
lapse on the influence of the Egyptian 
mob, " the mixed multitude " who fol- 
lowed in the train of the Hebrews : but 
it does not save their credit at all to sup- 
pose them more easily influenced by 
such comrades than by Moses and the 
ideas he had communicated. 

[To be concluded.] 


©ur ^Blatfnnn. 

Prem which anv earnest opponent may controvert our opinions, and from which any may expound views 
not coincident with our own, if tending to the Rationalisation of Theology. 



To the Editor of the Reasoner. 

SiE, — The one great opposition from which all conflicts of this time arise, is that 
of privilege and equalisation. The more pertinaciously on the one hand the 
privilege was maintained, and the more vivaciously on the other hand the acknow- 
ledgment of the equal rights of man was required, the broader and deeper the 
cleft was to be, which originated in society. To shut that cleft before the flood 
of revolution should break forth, was the purpose of Germano-Catholicisme. 

We saw that opposition increasing in three quarters of the society; there the 
privileged doctrine opposed to the right of thinking equal for all men; there the 
privileged classes opposed to the equal political right of all citirens ; there the 
privileged possession and enjoyment opposed to the natural right of each single 
one of the guarantee of his existence and pleasure of life. We were therefore 
endeavouring to accomplish the reconciliation by the means of knowledge and 
popular education. Being taught by history, that any progress in the cultivation 
of the nations has only arisen from their religious revolutions — these mak- 
ing the new purified principles of progress the agency and source of all their 
willing and acting, their manners, customs, and habits — we endeavoured to 
eflFectuate a religious revolution of the generation now living, in order to regenerate 
thereby the whole life of mankind. According to this the maxims of the Germano- 
Catholic communion, with regard to their doctrine, Cultus, and constitution, have 
been formed. 

Sacred is the dogma, the time past teaches ; sacred, because answering to the 
natural being of a man, is the free knowledge of truth, so we are teaching ourselves. 
We did not establish any confession of faith binding the single one. We concede 
the most perfect liberty of teaching, and we intend to make the results of scientific 
inquiry the joint property of all. Hereby we hope to take away the opposition 
of knowing and believing; there will be not longer any intolerance, the tolerance 
itself not being more wanted, and that penetrating dissension which has been 
brought in the German nation by religious factions since many centuries will be 

Sacred is the ecclesiastical precept, the old time teaches; sacred is the free acting of 
man when arising from the unrestrained development of all that belonging to the sound, 
full, and complete nature of man ; sacred therefore the works of true Christian love, 
so we are teaching ourselves. It has been the hypocrisy of the old time that has 
oppressed the natural, pure, and sacred love of men's hearts by cultivating that 
selfishness which, as penetrating all relations of life, is the chief cause of that 
profound misery which a great deal of mankind is sunk in. The worship of 
Germano-Catholicisme is therefore the worship of love, the worship of life. And 
with regard to that our main purpose is to realise on this earth that kingdom of 
God which the time of old delayed in a life of another world. We turn the eyes 
from the other to this world. We do not embellish any heaven by pleasures being 
refused to man on earth, but we intend to enjoy them here, each regarding him- 
self as the brother of the other. Our religion is not mere believing, our religion 
is true living, human living of man. ' 


And thus while the old time teaches dull obedience, we are teaching the liberty of 
moral will. By that obedience and submissiveness to an individual will, praised as 
virtue by the old time, she has supplied that system of being put under a guardian 
which generated in society the privilege of classes, the source of so many dis- 
sensions and bloody conflicts. Against this we inculcate to the human heart the 
highest esteem as to the liberty of human will, openly pronouncing any oppression 
as sin, while the spontaniety of man is his natural and inalienable right. 

As for the reproaches made to us for those endeavourings from the most different 
quarters, we say this : we are not atheists, because we seek and find God within the 
world, within the life ; like Jesus, we intend to live in God, and he ought to live in 
us. Christ is the founder of the true theory of education, as pronouncing truth 
and love the ground and corner-stones of human life, and the only real remedies 
as to the sick body of human society. Only this is our Christianity ; that preached 
by Christian orthodoxy we are and will be the destroyers of. We are no social or 
communist sect, but we sanctify the endeavourings of Socialists by elevating them 
into the rank of religion. We are no political club, but we further and sanctify the 
democratic principles, those being the spontaniety of man and liberty of human 
will. Therefore we are no obstacle to the purposes of Socialism, Democracy, 
Humanism. We regard ourselves as the true and positive promoters of all those 
endeavourings, and we cannot understand how it is possible to deem us as any 
impediment of them. Not sooner than the new view of the world having been 
elevated into the rank of the most intrinsic sanctuary of the human heart, it has 
power enough to reform and regenerate even the outward conditions of human 
society. This being our conviction, the result of so many efforts — proceeding from 
the purest ideas — did not surprise us this time. The bright splendour of truth 
has dazzled men and inspired them, but the beam of light did not yet penetrate 
into the innermost being of themselves. Yet men are fastened with their thoughts, 
their whole remembrance to the time past. They of course who wish to obtain 
prosperity by impetuous haste are forced to take another course, but their haste 
shall not guide them to a greater victory. And even the victory being gained 
would be but a transient triumphing. Therefore we persevere, franchising men in 
and from their innermost being; we know that this way is the larger and more 
painful, but the victory then obtained is the surest, and not more to be taken away. 

London, 1851. Carl Scholl. 


Sib, — The objection to the design argument, to which I adverted in my last 
letter in reply to Mr. Chilton, seems still to require some more specific statement 
and refutation. Formally stated, it is this:— We argue from analogy that the 
works of creation must be the product of a mind similar to our own. But mind 
requires the existence of body ; therefore the same analogy should lead us to con- 
clude that they are the work of a body similar to our own. But this body con- 
tains marks of contrivance, &c. It is here assumed that any instance of fore- 
thought or provision may, by natural analogy, be referred either to mind or body; 
that the one naturally involves the idea of the other, they being necessarily con- 
nected in the mind as cause and effect. But the fallaciousness of this representa- 
tion of the process of the mind will be obvious when we consider that the constant 
and unfailing experience necessary to connect two events in the mind as cause 


and effect, does not exist in this case, the body being found without its assumed 

Various ingenious reasons have indeed been given for the belief that the mind 
is the result of material action, but it is certainly unheard of that this theory 
should be assumed on the mere grounds of common language and experience- 
There is no rednctio ad absurdum here. In the method of a reductio ad absurdum, 
so common in the demonstration of converse propositions, we deduce an absurdity 
out of the proposition itself, as thus, admitting a fallacy, and then applying the 
same generalisation in an analogous case to produce contradiction : but here the 
absurdity arises only if we admit that the same common experience which leads 
us to infer that design implies a designer, teaches us also that mind is the pheno- 
mena of body. This is not an extension of the analogy at all, but rather a false 
substitution of one term for another in the analogy, which terms are not identical. 

No analogy can be extended beyond the similar things on which it is founded. 
Law, order, and design, indicate intelligence, pomp, and wisdom, but nothing cor- 
poreal, as the footprints of primaeval creatures indicate their structure, but not 
their instincts. 

If from a faint analogy we were to infer that the planets were inhabited, we 
might be able to determine some of the physical conditions of the existence of 
their inhabitants; but who would be so absurd as to expect information concerning 
their internal policy or religion ? Yet, misled by this sophism, we find the atheist 
making inquiries concerning the person of God, precisely analogous to these, con- 
ceived in precisely the same spirit, but with ridiculous triumph, and equally absurd 
and fallacious. In his letter in No. 247, Mr, Chilton says, that ' a belief in the 
action of invisible intelligent agency in the production of natural phenomena, 
appears to me to flow naturally and easily from man's ignorance of the purely ma- 
terial causes in operation in the universe ;' and his former statement, that ' the 
theist failing to discover from an examination of natural phenomena, how the 
world and its furniture originated, assumes that it must have been made by a being 
equal to the task,' plainly shows the nature of the theism Mr. Chilton com- 
bats. But as in my reply I have shown what Mr. Chilton reluctantly admits, that 
' it (theism) is not an assumption, but only (as if an inference, which differs from 
an assumption as truth from falsehood, were something less) an inference ;' and as 
further Mr. Chilton repeats that theism precedes atheism (for through the affir- 
mation the negation is known), the latter being no more than a declaration of dis- 
sent from the theist's conclusions; Mr. Chilton must also admit that hLs notions of 
theism being incorrect, his declaration of atheism was rather premature. 

But Mr. Chilton asserts that atheism is also an inference, and I agree ; it is an 
inference — an inference from facts not yet found out. 

The idea of God, which at first arises from a sense of dependence on external 
things, is at last confirmed by the perception of design in the universe, and the 
ever-acknowledged and inextinguishable religious sentiment, while it constrains us 
to bow before him, determines also, as I have shown before, our notions of his 
moral nature. If we know the character ascribed to the Deity by any worshippers? 
we have a certain index to their own. The notions of power peculiar to a barbarous 
people are altogether physical; bravery is almost the sole virtue, and might in war 
the highest praise : these, therefore, are the peculiar attributes of their gods. Not 
having any clear notions of morality, it is no way inconsistent for them to ascribe 
actions to the gods which appear altogether mean and immoral to more enlightened 
minds. Hence the first man who attains to more exact views of morality and pro- 


priety, is very apt to be persecuted as a blasphemer; for he shall find that his 
purer notions of morality do not square at all with the recorded conduct of the 
gods. And therefore as he sees them to be imperfect and crirainal, he is a blas- 
phemer of necessity. Hence the reason why the first infidels have ever been men 
of the most exalted intellect and virtue. For a man to be before his age, is to be 
subject to the scorn, the obloquy, and the persecution, of those whom he cannot 
help offending. No priest ever was in advance of his time. Several other infer- 
ences from this important truth might be adduced, but I forbear. 

I have delayed this answer longer than perhaps is consistent with the interest of 
the debate, but this was unavoidable. Inquireb. 


Sir, — Some time since, as you are aware, I commenced editing a small monthly 
magazine entitled the 'Free Inquirer in Science, Politics, and Theology.' Being 
a local publication, and partly published in a locality where superstition is syste- 
matically bound up with the 'let alone and get what you can' principle, it has 
ceased with the fifth number. I do not say that the loss will be publicly felt, 
but if I had been able to keep it up, I think I should have done a little good. 
Alrendy its influence, though small, began to attract notice. One of our local 
editors gave the ' Inquirer' a passing remark, while the editor of the Portsmouth 
Times gave me the credit of being 'bold even to the extreme limits of daring.' 

While the ' Inquirer ' was in existence no one cared to openly discuss the question 
at issue with me, but immediately it retired from office a few pious opponents 
abused me for my ' gross attacks on revealed religion.' As it is every minister in 
the town has been supplied with copies, and if they wish for discussion on the 
subject of religion, let them come forward. 

After you have appropriated the proceeds of the 'Inquirers' to the purposes I 
have named below, I will regularly contribute 2s. 6d. a quarter to the Reasoner 
Fund while I remain in work. If I am wanted to assist in carrying on the work 
you have so successfully cofhmenced, I will willingly come forward with my mite 
and with my humble abilities; nor will I shrink from my duty should we be so 
unfortunate as to have again to champion for freedom of discussion in the face of 
law. Meantime, I shall devote the next two or three years of my life to close 
study ; I shall be able then to combat more effectually the existing errors of society. 

George Robert Vine. 

P.S. — I have 3000 of Nos. 1 and 2 of the new series of the ' Free Inquirer' on 
hand, which 1 should be glad to dispose of, in packages, at 2s. Gd. per hundred. 
Is, 3d. for fifty, or 8d. for twenty-seven. Nos. 1 and 2 are complete in themselves, 
and contain the following complete articles : Christianity and its Professors — 
Religious Frauds — Christianity v. Christian Men, by myself — The Catholic Con- 
troversy, by J. J. M. — An Essay on the ' Theory of Development,' by W. 
Chilton — the Three Rings of Boccaccio, and several scientific and social extracts. 
Size, 24 pp. 12mo. The proceeds to be devoted to the following purposes : — 10s. 
to the Reasoner Fund, 5s. to the Stamp Abolition Committee, 5s. to the Hungarian 
and Polish Refugees, and the remainder for myself. I will send a parcel to the 
Reasoner Office for such disposal, if Mr. Watson will have the goodness to take 
charge of them. G. R. V. 



To promote the eflficieney of the Reasoner as an organ of Propagandism, one Friend subscribes 10s. 
weekly, another 53., one 2s. monthly, others Is. each weekly— and so on according to ability and ear- 
nestness. An annual contribution of 1 s. from each reader would be easy, equitable, and sufficient. What 
is remitted, in whatever proporiion, is acknowledged here and accounted lor at the end of the Volume. 

Acknowledged in No. 32, 1621s. 6d. — W. R, Liverpool, 40s.— J. E. Sinyard, 
Bradford, 2s. 6d. — W. C, per ditto, ditto, Is. — R. Wilson, North Owram, Is. — 
J. Sturzaker, North Owram, 2s.— Alasco, Is.— Mathew Knowles, Blackburn, 2s. 
— W. S., per Mrs. Watson, Is.— Total, 1672s. These sums ought to have been 
added to the list last week; but Mr. had the items with him. 


Literary Institution, John Street, Fitzroy Square. 
— May 25th [5], Alexander Campbell, ' On the For- 
matioa of Character.' 

Hackney Literary and Scientific Institution, 
Mermaid Assembly Rooms.— May 28th [8], George 
Oawson, M.A., ' On Old Times and Old Ways.' 

Hall of Science, City Road. — May 25th [ri], 
Samuel M. Kydd, ' National Greatness.' 

Institute of Progress, 10.\, Upper George-street, 
Sloane-square. — May 23rd [8], a Discussion. 25th 
[7i], a lecture. 

Kclectic Institute, Denmark Street, Soho. — 
Every Friday [84], Mr. J. B. O'Brien, ' Home and 
Foreign Politics.' Every Sunday [74J, on ' Moral 
and Social Science.' 

Free Inquirers' Society. British Coffee Rooms, 
Edgeware Uoad. — May 25th [7], a lecture. 

Areopagus Coffee and Heading Room, 59, Church 
Lane, Whitechapel. — Every Sunday, Monday, and 
Wednesday (S), a Lecture or Discussion. 

Ijl TRUELOVE'S Periodical and Publication 
1' Depot, 22, John-street, Fitzroy-square, ad- 
joining the Literary and Scientific Institution. 

E. T. is now selling the followicg works, many of 
them at reduced prices : — s. d. 

Paine's Political Works 5 

Age of Reason 3 

Voltaire's Philosophical Dictionary, complete 6 
Gibbon's Decline and Fall of the Roman 

Empire, complete 15 

The First Five Vols, of the Reasoner, 
hf.-bd., including the Herald of Pro- 
gress 20 

The Chemist, in 4 vols 14 

The Quarto Edition of Busby's Lucretius, 
with large portrait of Epicurus, half bound 7 6 

The Diegesis, by Robert Taylor 5 

The Devil's Pulpit, by ditto 4 6 

The Lion, edited by Cariile & R. Taylor ,4 vols 15 

The Vestiges of Creation, complete 2 6 

Eroestjones's Lectures on Canterbury v. Rome 1 
Voices of Freedom and Lyrics of Love, by 

Gerald Massey 1 

The Seerest of Prevorst, being revelations 
concerning the inner life of man, &c., by 

Justinus Kerner 1 6 

Babeufs Conspiracy for Equality. B. O'Brien 3 
Eugene Sue's Wandering Jew, best edition 2 6 
Ensor's Political Works, strongly bound, 4 vols 6 
Burns' Cjmplete Works, 14 illustrations, g. e. 1 

Shelley's Works, neat pocket edition 2 

The Labour Question, by Michel Chevalier, 
and the Addresses of Louis Blanc at the 


The Words of a Believer, by the Abbe de 


Tbe People, by Michelet, best edition 1 

Historic Pages from the French Revolution 

of 1848. By Louis Blanc 1 

The new Ecce Homo, by Blumenfeld .... 
The New Lanark Report, by Robert Owen 


The Social Hymn Book 6 

Carpenter's Pohtical Text Book 1 

13 Lectures by Robert Owen 1 

Romanism the Religion of Terror, and 
Sects and Sectaries, by S. P. Day, for- 

merly a Monk each 2 

Shortly will be published DEATH-BED 
REPENTANCE, its fallaciousness and 
absurdity ; a new edition, rewritten by 

Robert Cooper, of Manchester 2 

The Communist Chronicle, byGoodwyn Barmby 6 
The Student, a sceptical play, by F. Bate 3 
Just published, Two Letters to Dr. Cumming 
on the subject of bis lecture, entitled God in Sci- 
ence, by W. D. 

E. T. has constantly on sale a large collection of 
all the best political, social, and infidel publications. 
E. T. returns his best thanks to his friends for 
their patronage, and hopes, by attention to their 
orders and moderate charges, to merit their con- 
tinued support and recommendation. 

Newspapers sent to all parts of tbe country to 
order. Bookbinding with economy and despatch. 

Works published by J. Watson. 

THE LIBRARY of REASON, containing aseries 
of articles from the works of ancient and 
modern authors in favour of FREE INQUIRV. 
22 Nos. stitched in a wrapper, with Title and Con- 
tents price 1 6 

P.S. — Persons requiring single numbers to com- 
plete sets, can procure them from the publisher, or 
through his agents. 

Owen and Bacheler's Discussion on the Ex- 
istence of God and tbe Authenticity of the 
Bible. In 1 vol., neat cloth boards, price 4 6 

Discussion on God, in 1 vol., cloth 1 10 

Ditto ditto in a wrapper 1 4 

Discussion on the Bible, 1 vol., cloth 3 2 

Ditto ditto in a wrapper 2 8 

(Or in parts af 6d. each.) 
Popular Tracts, by Robert Dale Owen, in 

1 vol., cloth boards 2 6 

The Bible of Reason, or Scriptures of Ancient 

and Modem Authors. 1 thick vol.Svo. c. let. 7 6 
Godwin's Political Justice, 1 vols, bound 

in one, cloth lettered 5 

Mirabaud's System of Nature, 2 vols, bound 

in one, cloth lettered 5 

Volney's Ruins of Empires and Law of 
Mature, with three engravings. 1 vol., ^ 

cloth lettered 3 

CTo be had in Five parts at 6d. each, or in 15 

numbers at 2d. each.) 
Shelley's Queen Mab, with all the notes, 1 

vol., cloth lettered 1 6 

Ditto ditto wrapper 1 

Trevelyan's Letter to Cardinal Wiseman .. 1 
The Revolution which began in Heaven : a 

Dramatic Vision of Time, by H. Lucas . . 6 
1 The Freethinker's Magazine, in 7 Nos. at 2d., 
I and 2 Nos. at 6d. 

London : James Watson, 3, Queen's Head Pas. 
sage. Paternoster -row. 


During the last Knott Hill Fair, which commenced on Easter Monday, there 
was a stall in Deansgate, Manchester, on which was nothing but Bibles and Testa- 
ments. Two men, who had the appearance of town missionaries, were at the stall, 
and were distributing hand-bills asking the following questions : — ' Dear reader, 
have you a Bible or Testament? You may think this a strange question. It is, 
however, certain that thousands of families are destitute of that precious book 
which can alone make wise unto salvation, through faith which is in Christ Jesus. 
This surely cannot be because they are unable to purchase one, for they can have 

a Bible for lOd., a Testament for 4d But perhaps you have a Bible. Will 

you not then recommend it to others ? Think a moment. Are there no friends 
or neighbours, or even members of your own family, who are destitute of it ? If 
you know of any such, what better present can you take them than that which can 

administer solid and lasting comfort in every time of need ? Let the word of 

the Lord have free course and be glorified.' This is a new phase of Christian 
propagandism. Why not freethinkers do likewise ? A bill might be issued, say- 
ing — ' H-dve yon & Reasoner ? If you have not, purchase one immediately. It is 
published weekly at Id.; and if you approve of it, recommend it to your relations 
and friends. In its pages is advocated the right of private judgment in matters 
of speculative belief; as those who must answer for themselves ought to think 
for themselves. Let freethought be encouraged, that superstition and intolerance 
may be made to disappear,' &c. A. 

The Bath Herald, of September 1828, has the following remarks :— ' A member 
of the legal profession in this city lately had occasion to call upon an invalid 
gentleman of the most exemplary character and piety, residing at a short distance 
from Bath, for the purpose of swearing him to an affidavit, and requested the loan 
of a Bible for the purpose. " I have no such book in my house," said the gentle- 
man emphatically to the astonished lawyer ; " for, sir, / have a family of daughters!" 
Notwithstanding this singular declaration, a better man or more devout Protestant 
Christian is not living than this gentleman.' 

The principles of Dissent (says 'My Life,' by an ex-Dissenter) are not fixed and 
stationary, like those of the Church of England. Presbyterians to-day. Indepen- 
dents to-morrow. Baptists ten years hence, and, I am sorry to say, sometimes So- 
cinians afterwards. I heard an old Independent minister once declare at the 
Wiltshire Association, ' That if all the chapel deeds of all the Independent meeting 
houses should he examined, not one out of ten would be found to be strictly legal. 
But then we are all dissenters ; some think this and others think that — but we all 
agree to oppose the church, and whenever we are called upon to assist and pull 
down the successor of St. Peter, we give a willing and cheerful hand.' 

In the spring season at Bath, in the year 17G0, subscription-books were opened 
for prayers at the Abbey, and gaming at the Rooms. At the close of the first day 
the number of subscribers for prayers were twelve, and for gaming 67 ! The 
following lines were written on the occasion : — 

The Church and Rooms the other day 
Open'd their books for prayer and play; 
The priest got twelve, Hoyle sixty-seven : 
How great the odds for Hell 'gainst Heaven ! 

London : Printed by Holyoake Brothers, 3, Queen's Head Passage, Paternoster-row; and Published 
by J. Watson, 3, Queen's Head Passage, Paternoster-row. — Wednesday, May 21st, 1851. 



The? who believe that they have Truth ask no favour, save that of bein? heard : they dare the 
judgment of Mankind : refused Co-operation, they invoke Opposition, for Opposition is their 
Opportunity, — Editor. 


After a month's speaking and travelling, and hunting after the enemy in the 
north, I have reached the pleasantest of places to me — my own fireside — exhilarated 
and stronger in health than when I set out. It was not always possible to secure 
an alternate night for rest, but to some extent 1 accomplished it, and am all the 
better in consequence, and the recess gave me time to see pleasant places and 
pleasant people. I have been through the wonderful crypts of Glasgow Cathedral, 
and stood on the grave of Edward Irving, the divinest of modern revivalists. I 
have visited the grave of poor Thorn the poet, at Dundee, and sailed over the 
charming Tay. I have listened to the Rev. George GilfiUan, and rambled down 
the Gala Water — along the silvery Tweed — round Abbotsford, which was the grave 
of its Wizard architect — through glorious old Melrose Abbey — over Carlisle 
Castle — peeped into the dungeon of Fergus Mclver, one of the manliest of heroes, 
and stood over the drawbridge through which he passed on the morning on which 
he was beheaded — stared at brawny Skiddaw mountain (without putting it out 
of countenance), and gazed at the spectral ruins at Penrith, which overlook a 
scene that might be taken for the emblem of eternity. But — Behold, are not these 
things recorded in the Chronicles by the Way ? (which, by the way, I have not 
yet written, but which I will make a violent attempt to write for the succeeding 
numbers of the E^asoner). At present 1 have an Ave Maria to say, and some 
beads to count, as a propitiation for long absence, to my household Gods — certain 
juvenile Deities in the shape of four wild little people, who are not exactly aware 
that such a word as ' subordination ' is in the dictionary, and who are waiting to 
treat me to their newest scream and their merriest gambol. 

Curious events have taken place in Lancaster this past week, both on the part of 
the Rev. Mr. Fleming, who has exhibited unprecedented conduct, and the Lancaster 
Gazette, which has published one of the rudest of articles, which was also an in- 
citement of the people of that town to very ambiguous conduct. Shopkeepers in 
the town have been under special discussional sensation since the appearance on 
the walls of a placard headed ' Defence of Opinion against the Rev. J. Fleming,' 
saying — 

' The public of Lancaster are respectfully informed that Mr. G. J. Holyoake, of 
London, editor of the Reasoner, author of the " Logic of Death," and several similar 
publications, will deliver three lectures in the Large Room, New Inn Yard, 
Market Street, May 21st, 22nd, and 23rd, on the following subjects : T. The case 
stated between Atheism and Theism, with a view to show the moral innocency of 
speculative opinions, even the most extreme, if conscientiously held. II. Moral 
objections to Christianity : the new class of reasons for not accepting the religious 
doctrines of the day do not relate so much to critical discrepancies as to moral 
defects. III. Catholicism consistent Christianity, and the actual Type of the 

[No. 261. j INo. 2, Vol. ii.j 




Churches aronnd us, all of which alike excite personal distrust and public alarm. 
— In a letter which appeared, on April 19, in the Lancaster Guardian, from the 
Rev. J. Fleming, that gentleman said, " If Mr. Holyoake considers himself at all 
wronged by my strictures on the ' Logic of Death,' let him come to Lancaster, and 
defend what he has wiitten in a series of lectures, and I will be prepared to reply 
to him, and vindicate the claims of Christianity against all he may advance against 
them." The above lectures will contain Mr. Holyoake's defence of his writings 
in general, and of the " Logic of Death" in particular. Each night an opportunity 
will be aflForded to the Rev. Mr. Fleming to reply. Admission : gentlemen 3d., 
ladies 2d.' 

What took place after this bill appeared I shall commence to relate first, 
thoBgh in point of time it should stand last in the Chronicles aforesaid. 



The religiously educated inquirer is constantly perplexed in his study of the 
Pentateuch, by the alleged personal action of Almighty God in the legislation and 
policy of the Jews, which prevents his accounting for the apparent omissions and 
barbarities in their Law, and for their merciless foreign and civil wars, by any 
deficiency of civilisation and enlightenment in their legislators and rulers. De- 
fenders of the supernatural wisdom of the Bible are driven to the strangest shifts 
in order to scramble through this insurmountable difficulty. 

In one of Bishop Burnet's conversations with Lord Rochester, that penitent 
sinner ventures to express to the worthy prelate a doubt of the justice of the whole- 
sale massacre of the Canaanite nations. Burnet argues that 'God must have an 
absolute right over the lives of all his creatures,' and that ' if he could take away 
their lives without injustice or cruelty, he had a right to appoint others to do it.' 
And furthermore, 'the taking away people by the sword is a much gentler way of 
dying than to be smitten with 3 plague or a famine ; and for the children that were 
innocent of their father's faults, God could in another state make that up to them.' 
Which is of course a most ample explanation. 

In Matthew Henry and Scott'a ' Commentary on the Bible,' we find the following 
attempt to justify these same massacres, with reference to the twentieth chapter 
of Deuteronomy, from the tenth to the eighteenth verse : — * In dealing with the 
worst of enemies the laws of justice and honour must be observed ; and as the 
sword must never be taken in hand without cause, so not without cause shown. 
Even to the proclamation of war must be subjoined an offer of peace, if they would 
accept it upon reasonable terms. That is, say the Jewish writers, upon condition 
that they renounce idolatry, worship the God of Israel as proselytes of the gate that 
were not circumcised, pay to their new masters a yearly tribute, and submit to 
their government.' Very reasonable terms truly ! and it will be seen that the 
nations to whom they were offered were very leniently treated in comparison 
with those who were found in possession of the promised land. ' The nation of 
Canaan are excepted from the merciful provisions of this law. Remnants might 
be left of the cities that were far off, because by them the Israelites were not in so 
much danger of being infected with idolatry ; nor was their country so directly 
and immediately intended in the promise. But of the cities that were given to 
Israel for an inheritance, none of the inhabitants must be left. Since it could not 
be expected that they should be cured of their idolatry, they would infect Israel.' 
Can anything be more clear ? This Almighty Being 'could not expect' that the 


Canaanites should be cured of their Paganism, did expect that his favourite Jews 
would easily be cured of their Theism, and therefore, as the shortest and easiest 
method, ordered the idolaters to be exterminated! 

Mr. Henry Rogers, in his ' Reason and Faith ' (p. 82), says : ' Against the alleged 
absurdity of the laws of Moses, such works as that of Michaelis have disclosed 
much of that relative wisdom which aims not at the absti-actedly best, but at the 
best which a given condition of humanity, a given period of the world's history, 
and a given purpose, could dictate. In pondering such difficulties as still remain 
in those laws, we may remember the answer of Solon to the question, whether he 
had given the Athenians the best laws : he answered, " No, but the best of which 
they were capable ;" and the illustrious Montesquieu I'emarked, "When Divine 
Wisdom said to the Jews, * I have given you precepts which are not good,' this 
signifies they had only a relative goodness; this is the sponge which wipes out all 
the difficulties which are to be found in the Law of Moses." This is a truth which 
we are persuaded a more profound philosophy will understand the better, and 
only those legislative pedants will refuse weight to it, who would venturously 
propose to give New Zealanders and Hottentots, in the starkness of their savage 
ignorance, the complex forms of the British Constitution.' 

Mr. Rogers seems to think that the cases of giving a political constitution and 
a code of laws and morals are analogous. The Hottentots may be nnfit to exercise 
any of the functions of legislation, but would it be too ' venturous ' in an English 
ruler to try to teach them our English morality ? Would such a person be a 
moral ' pedant?' Are the rules of civilised morals too complex for the compre- 
hension of a New Zealander or a Hottentot? No one has ever complained of 
Moses not granting the Jews a modern constitution, but of his having taught them 
a cruel system of morals and customs, not calculated to humanise and civilise 
them, but to perpetuate 'the starkness of their savage ignorance,' and to heighten 
and stimulate some of their most objectionable habits and propensities with the 
sanction of divine authority. 

The work of Michaelis, a learned German professor of Hebrew and divinity, to 
which Mr. Rogers refers, is a laborious Commentary on the Law of Moses, written 
expressly as a defence against infidel attacks. We will quote a short passage from 
his remarks on the singular absence of any penal or even prohibitory law to pro- 
tect female virtue from violence, except in those cases when, from the woman 
being betrothed, a collateral injury would be inflicted on a male Hebrew. 'This 
may be attributed,' says he, ' to the deep debasement of the Jewish females in 
consequence of polygamy, and the custom of selling wives.' And soon after he 
says, ' Polygamy, and the right of the blood-avenger to attack and kill with im- 
punity the person who had slain one of his relations, will hardly be reckoned 
among the laudable institutions of any government. It was a right which the 
legislator was here forced to tolerate, because it was connected with an imaginary 
sense of honour which he could not eradicate from the minds of the people.'* 

Now if Michaelis had made these excuses for Moses as a legislator of a barbarous 
period, himself a barbarian raised above the mass of the people he governed only 
by his superior talents and energy, they would have been admissible ; but when 
oflPered, as they are, on behalf of an Almighty God, they become simply absurd. 
All the laws of Moses are delivered in the name of God ; Jehovah was the legis- 
lator of the Hebrews, and according to Michaelis he was ' forced to tolerate ' the 

* ' Commentaries on the Laws of Moses,' by John David Michaelis. Article 5. 


impure and bloodthirsty customs of his chosen people on account of their rooted 
propensities and their ' imaginary sense of honour.' 

Many savage nations under the English rule have had their ' imaginary sense of 
honour,' and yet, strange to say, -we -were not forced to tolerate it. We permit no 
blood-avenger to roam, dagger in hand, in search of his hereditary foe, still less do 
we sanction such a murderous custom by legislative permission. Hindoo widows 
formerly used to burn themselves on the funeral piles of their husbands. The 
prejudice in favour of the custom was strong, but it was a wicked custom, and the 
English government was not 'forced to tolerate it.' And what is still more 
strange, in many instances, after a short lapse of time, ignorant nations 
beoin to feel and to acl^nowledge the justice and advantages of our interference 
with their ancient habits, in spite of the starkness of their savage ignorance.' 

But let us remark on the contradictions and absurdities in the character of the 
God of the Bible. This Almighty legislator, who is said to have interfered to 
stop the sun and moon in order to allow the Jews sufficient time to slaughter the 
Midianites, would not interfere to prevent murder, slavery, or polygamy : this 
Almighty Being, who interfered to harden the heart of Pharaoh, and to ' make ob- 
stinate' the spirit of the Canaanites, would not interfere to check the ' imaginary 
sense of honour,' which led to the perpetration of malignant hereditary feuds and 
murderous conflicts. Such is a fair sample of the ' relative wisdom disclosed' by 
the ponderous Commentary of Michaelis. Undecimus. 


Two numerous and enthusiastic parties have been held in London to celebrate 
the eightieth birthday of the founder of English Socialism. These meetings gave 
evident signs of the progress of the Social principle. The first party was held on 
the 14th, at the Cranbourn Hotel, Cranbourn Street, Leicester Square — Mr. G. A. 
Fleming in the chair. Several foreign Socialists were present, among whom were 
General Houg, editor of Kosmos, Mr. Horace Greeley, editor of the New York 
Tribune, and Mons. and Mdlle. D'Arusmont. Mr. Owen, who appeared in exqel- 
lent health and spirits, read a paper ' For May 14, 1851,' in which he says—' The 
early knowledge of nature's laws, in the formation of the human character, has 
been a constant source of unspeakable happiness through my life. It has made 
me to love human nature, and to be alone anxious for its permanent happiness. 
It has made me content, without the slightest fear or dread of after consequences, 
to die at any time, for which I have been made to be always ready and prepared.' 
At John Street, on the 18th, more than 300 persons sat down to tea, and a 
large number assembled after the doors were opened to the public. Mr. W. D. 
Saull presided over this meeting. The first sentiment was introduced by Mr. 
Kydd and Mr. Turley : 'The People; may their teachers seek their elevation 
and moral improvement, that their long-cherished hopes and noblest aspirations 
may be fully realised.' The second — 'Robert Owen, the philanthropist; may his 
efforts for the elevation of humanity meet with a response in all the nations of the 
earth ' — was proposed by Mr. Robert Cooper, seconded by Mr. Alexander Camp- 
bell. Mr. Owen addressed the audience for a considerable time, in a speech full 
of vivacity and good feeling. He expressed his intention of endeavouring to prove 
to those who had called him a ' visionary,' that he was a ' practical man,' by draw- 
ing up a brief statement of his own views, which should be printed on one sheet, 
Mr. Owen is at least a practical instance of untiring energy and perseverance. 



(!Fj:anituatt0u of ti)e ^re^s. 

The Experience of an Old Methodist [concluded from last number.] — I 
tried in vain to retain such a hold of the Scripture as might consist with their 
notions ; but at length truth compelled me to give up all belief in miraculous 
revelation, as mere pretence — or at least as old-world superstition, 1 may men- 
tion, in passing, soon after I had arrived at this stage, I heard you deliver some 
lectures on religion, wherein you gave some terribly hard hits at the mischievous 
superstitions of orthodoxy. But you were then, apparently, as I had been pre- 
viously, wishful to stop at Unitarianism. I admired your zeal and determination 
to battle for truth, but felt convinced that you would have to undergo still further 
change — and I had not long to wait to witness it. I know, from my own former 
feelings towards others, and from what I have myself been the subject of more 
recently, that Christians have the most horrid ideas of what they call infidelity. 
In fact, up to my fortieth year, if there was one thing more horrible than all others, 
one thing that I feared, dreaded, and desired to shun more than all others, it was 
infidelity. Nor has the long and important transition been made without great 
mental suffering, and many a season of mental agony. I protest that I never gave 
up faith willingly ; it was parting with my then best hopes. One consolation I 
had, ever since my earliest yieldings to common sense against superstition — I 
had got rid of all dread of everlasting fire and brimstone. That nightmare was 
removed from my soul. As it is a received opinion of nearly all believers, and was 
once an opinion of my own, that unbelief universally springs from a wicked 
nature, impatient of moral control, I will take occasion to say, that I trust all my 
associates give me credit for loving real virtue as strongly as ever I did; and for 
at least as strong and persevering desires — and efforts too — to be useful among 
my fellow-men as ever. It is true I can do some things which I formerly durst not 
do, simply because I now believe that we were made for this world as well as for 
the future state — that we were not made to pull long faces merely — and that all 
our faculties were made for exercise and use. As I wish to be candid, and to 
exhibit all the sides of my case fairly, I will confess that though I have, on the 
one side, got rid of all dread of hell, I have not, on the other side, so definite, and, 
as it were, familiar a connection with heavenly things, as Methodism inspires. I 
do not expect, with certainty, to ascend above the clouds, and, in the centre of the 
universe, or anywhere else, see God in a tangible shape ; nor do I expect to see 
Jesus Christ actually sitting at God's right hand. I have no expectation that, 
actually present, both in body and soul, I shall spend an eternity amid assembled 
saints and angels, singing anthems and performing direct acts of adoration, &c., 
&c. Instead of all this, however, I have a strong hope that God, who has mani- 
fested his wisdom and beneficence so wonderfully and so overflowingly in all 
nature, does not intend human life and being to close at the period we call death ; 
though I pretend not to kuow how or in what kind of condition existence will be 
continued. I have so firm a trust that all will be well, and that Infinite Wisdom 
is at the helm of the universe, that I have no fear of laying my body, when weary 
with age, and worn with labour, in that bed which God has made for all his human 
children. As I have long thought the same, I have been much pleased with your 
idea that nature is the true revelation, and that nature is all-sufficient. And as 
geology, astronomy, and history, all conspire to prove, that physical nature 
generally, and man particularly, has been and is, gradually, and constantly, pro- 
gressing, I feel a sublime pleasure in exercising a rational faith, which cannot 


be unpleasing to the Deity, in throwing my entire and everlasting interests upon 
infinite goodness. Though I presume not to be God's favourite, I claim to be his 
child. Little did I think when, on my painful discovery, that I had been trusting 
in popular superstition ; and when faith had died within me, little did I think that 
the immortal flower would again revive in such joyful freshness. My Methodist 
associates used to urge me — as the best antidote to doubt — not to reason but believe. 
I have found that an infinitely better faith has been the result of following enligh- 
tened reason, than that which arose from old-world ignorance, superstition, and 
blind belief. Speaking of the Methodists, I may acknowledge that, in one respect, 
they were useful to me. During the whole of the time that I was connected with 
them, I lived in a country village, where intellectual companionship was extremely 
scarce. All the travelling preachers who, in consecutive years, were placed in 
our circuit, I was acquainted with, as a matter of course. And, independently of 
their religious principles, &c., they were much better associates than I should 
otherwise have had. In fact, with some of them, I often held ' sweet counsel,' on 
subjects much more congenial to either their tastes or mine, than the splitting of 
orthodox hairs. In conclusion, allow me to say, that as I have not known you all 
through your life, I am at a loss to guess how in the world you, like me, were 
made a Methodist preacher. I cannot account for it by a comparison with my own 
case, for this reason — you are not only a man of intellect and energy, but of 
strong and determined independence. I am slow of thought, with perhaps too 
large love of approbation. 1 thank you heartily for having introduced Theodore 
Parker to me. His arguments are as convincing as his spirit is amiable ; and that 
is saying much ; for he is evidently one of the best of men. T had read Fox's 
work on 'Religious Ideas' with much satisfaction, and am greatly pleased with your 
plan of epitomising his and other good and extraordinary works. — The People. 

The Value of Epitaphs. — When the person is buried, the next care is to 
make his epitaph. They are generally reckoned best which flutter most ; such 
relations therefore as have received most benefits from the defunct, discharge this 
friendly office, and generally flatter in proportion to their joy. When we read 
those monumental histories of the dead, it may be justly said that all men are 
equal in the dust ; for they all appear equally remarkable for being the most 
sincere Christians, the most benevolent neighbours, and the honestest men of their 
time. To go through an European country, one would be apt to wonder how 
mankind could have so basely degenerated from such excellent ancestors. Every 
tomb pretends to claim your reverence and regret : some are praised for piety in 
those inscriptions, who never entered the temple until they were dead; some are 
praised for being excellent poets, who were never mentioned, except for their dul- 
ness, when living; others for suldime orators, who were never noted except for 
their impudence ; and others still for military achievements, who were never in 
any skirmishes but with the watch. Some even make epitaphs for themselves, 
and bespeak the reader's good-will. It were indeed to be wished, that every man 
would early learn in this manner to make his own ; that he would draw it up in 
terms as flattering as possible, and that he would make it the employment of his 
whole life to deserve it. — Goldsmith's Citizen of the World, Letter 12. 

FuKTHEE Papal Aggression. — A letter from Rome, dated May 1st, says that 
the President of the Propaganda, Cardinal Franzoni, has just issued an appeal to 
all Italy, calling upon all good Catholics to subscribe funds for the erection of a 
Roman Catholic cathedral in London. The projected edifice is to be dedicated to 
St. Peter, and schools for boys and girls attached to it. — Leader. 



€iit ^thvsio aaeligtan: io^mct Bstibtis* 


[Concluded from last number.] 

However this may be, a ritual religion ception, ^nd bearing no relation what- 

they were now to have : and in this ritual 
they must have their moral government. 
Moses had been compelled to surrender 
his loftiest aim and hope — that of raising 
the people above a ceremonial worship. 
His object henceforth plainly was to ele- 
vate the ceremonial worship into as good 
a moral government as its nature would 
permit. In the great concern of all — 
that of the Sanctions of the Moral Law 
which he gave, Moses made his third 
marked departure from the religion of 
Egypt. The first was his laying open 
the Mysteries : the second, his declaring 
the Supreme a tutelary God : and the 
third was his offering, as the Sanc- 
tion of the Moral Law, Temporal Retri- 
bution instead of Future Reward and 

Punishment Moses saw that the 

doctrine of future reward and punish- 
ment was disbelieved by the learned, and 
was so far made a deception to the peo- 
ple as that the inevitable suffering which 
arises from sin, and the peace which at- 
tends goodness, were concealed from 
them under the disguise of arbitrary 
punishment and rewar.d. The Initiated 
appear to have believed in a future life, 
and in the natural retribution by which, 
from their very constitution, the virtu- 
ous enjoy and the vicious suffer : but, in 
as far as they declared these things in 
the form of divine promises and threats, 
contingent on future conduct, they de- 
ceived the people; and Moses as care- 
fully avoided perpetrating this evil as 
any other connected with the Mysteries. 
The second way of meeting the difficulty 
of the existence of evil was no less 
familiar to him, from his position through 
life; the supposition of two opposing 
deities. He had seen in Egypt how from 
being brothers, children of one father, 
Osiris and Typho, Good and Evil, had 
become foes ; and he had witnessed the 
moral mischief which arises from the 
belief of a malevolent spiritual being. 
We find therefore in the Mosaic system 
no more trace of an evil spiritual being, 
hostile to God and man, than of a future 
life of reward and punishment. The 
serpent in Eden is, in the history, a mere 
serpent, altogether Egyptian in its con- 

ever to the Evil Being with which su 
perstitionafterwardsconnectedit. Moses 
nowhere hints at such a notion as that 
of an express Author of Evil. On the 
contrary his doctrine, consistent from 
end to end of his teachings, is that which 
Isaiah expressed afterwards in the plain 
words : ' I am the Lord, and there is 
none else. I form the light and create 
darkness ; I make peace and create evil. 
I the Lord do all these things.' 

And Moses boldly cut the knot by 
presenting as a Sanction for the moral 
law, the doctrine that happiness and 
prosperity follow obedience, misery and 
adversity disobedience to God — a doc- 
trine founded on a great truth. Sub- 
stitute for ' God,' the ' Laws of Nature,* 
moral, physical, and intellectual, and 
George Coombe's ' Constitution of Man' 
may be read as a commentary upon the 
doctrine of Moses. 

The cosmogony of the Jews, at least 
a part of it, and that the older, is deci- 
dedly Egyptian. Miss Martineau says 
of the representations in the Tomb of 
Osirei at Thebes : — * It is impossible to 
look upon these representations of the 
serpent; of the tree of life, of which 
those who ate were made as gods ; of the 
moving spirit of the Creator, and of the 
universally prevalent ideas of the origi- 
nal spread of water; the separation of 
the land from the water ; the springing 
of vegetation, and the sudden appearance 
of animals on the new surface; and the 
separation of the upper air into regions 
of abode, without seeing whence was de- 
rived the first of the two accounts of the 
creation given in the Book of Genesis ; 
that in which, not Jehovah, but the 
Elohim were engaged, who would be un- 
derstood by the Egyptian instructors of 
Moses to be Knepb and Phthah — the 
Presiding Spirit, and the Forming In- 
tellect of the Supreme. The other, and 
very different, account has little that is 
Egyptian in its character, and was pro- 
bably not learned at Heliopolis or 

Again : ' In their theory of the forma- 
tion of the world, they (the Egyptians) 
believed that when the toimless void of 



eternal matter began to part oflF into 
realms, the igneous elements ascending 
and becoming a firmament of fiery bodies, 
and the heavier portions sinking and be- 
coming compacted into earth and sea, the 
earth gave out animals — beasts and rep- 
tiles; an idea evident! j' derived from their 
annual spectacle of the coming forth of 
myriads of living creatures from the soil 
of their valley, on the subsidence of the 
flood. When we remember that to them 
the Nile was the sea, and so called by 
them, and that they had before them the 
spectacle which is seen nowhere else, of 
the springing of the green herb afterthe 
separation of the waters from the land, 
we shall see how different their view of 
the creation must be from any which we 

could naturally form.' 

The last point of similarity, evidently 
derived, is that of the ritual of the Jews. 
We have seen that Moses was compelled 
to abandon his original design of doing 
without ceremonial worship, for the 
Hebrews, fresh from Egypt, could not 
be prevailed upon to give up their super- 
stitions. Where should Moses get a 
ritual and a worship except from the 
land in whose temples he had graduated 
in ritual and ceremony, quite as much 
as in wisdom and philosophy ? He ac- 
cordingly 'gave them a ritual Egyptian 
in its forms, seasons, and associations, 
but with Jehovah alone for its object.' 
' He had all the requisite knowledge of 
Egyptian worship and ways. He had at 
his command, among the " mixed multi- 
tude," Egyptian artificers; besides that 
many of the Hebrews themselves were 
no doubt skilled artisans. So he treated 
them as they compelled him to do. He 
ofiered them a new set of Command- 
ments, eight out of ten of which were 
about feasts and offerings, and sacrifices 
and holy days. He fixed upon the days 
of Egyptian feasts, knowing that the 
people would at all events observe the 
days of New Moon, First-fruits, &c.,and 
securing this observance for Jehovah by 
special ordinance. He set them to work 
upon a tabernacle— a moveable temple 
for the Desert, as nearly as possible re- 
sembling an Egyptian temple. He made 
them an ark— exattly like what the tra- 
veller in Egypt sees sculptured in the 
processions of the priests, on the walls 
of palaces and temples finished before 
Abraham was Lorn.— He permitted to 
them an oracle, the Uiim and Thummim, 
derived immediately fr6m an Egyptian 

model. And, most mournful to him of 
all, he had to give them a priesthood, 
like that which they had been accustomed 
to look up to as sacred. He had hoped 
to make of them a high-caste nation, and 
had delivered to them the announcement 
" And ye shall be unto me a.kingdom of 
priests, a holy nation." ' 

And these passages are still stronger 
evidence : — ' When Moses had failed to 
satisfy the people that Jehovah should 
have no meaner temple than that of the 
heavens and the earth, and when it there- 
fore became necessary to prepare for 
him a visible abiding place, there could 
be no doubt about what kind of temple 
it must be. The Hebrews were living, 
like the Egyptians, under a theocracy; 
and the temples of Egypt, palaces for 
the Divine King, must be the model. 
" The Israelites," says Dr. Kitto, " were 
taught to feel that the tabernacle was not 
only the temple of Jehovah, but the 
palace of their King ; that the table sup- 
plied with wine and shew-bread was the 
royal table ; that the altar was the place 
where the provisions of the monarch 
were prepared ; that the priests were 
the royal servants, and were bound to 
attend not only to Sacred but also to 
secular affairs, and were to receive, as 
their reward, the first tithes, which the 
people, as subjects, were led to consider 
as part of the revenue which was due to 
God, their immediate sovereign. Other 
things, of a less prominent and im- 
portant nature, had reference to the same 

great end." There is no reason to 

suppose that the tabernacle was the first 
portable sanctuary ever made. The 
eastern idolaters of the old world used 
to carry about with them the shrines of 
their idols in their wanderings : and the 
prophet Amos and the martyr Stephen 
charge the Israelites with having done 
even this. Travellers tell us that at this 
day the eastern tartars carry about a 
tabernacle, which they set up for pur- 
poses of worship, and take to pieces 
again when they migrate. This is pro- 
bably as old as any other nomade cus- 
tom. Except in its portableness, the 
tabernacle of the Hebrews was as like as 
it could be made to an Egyptian temple. 
It had its circuit wall, represented by a 
curtained enclosure : it had its open 
court; and then the edifice itself, in the 
lorm of an oblong square. It had the 
two chambers which are the indispens- 
able parts of all Egyptian temples — the 



Holy Place; and within this, and very 
small, the Holy of Holies. The cover- 
ings which formed the ceiling and walls 
of these chambers were embroidered 
with figures of cherubim, as the ceilings 
and walls of Egyptian temples had sculp- 
tures and pa.intings of heavenly crea- 
tures. If we may take the description 
in the 1st chapter of Ezekiel as the He- 
brew description of cherubim, nothing 
can be more like the lion-headed, hawk- 
headed, ox-headed, winged images, in the 

Egyptian sculptures Throughout all 

these ages, the Holy of Holies was in the 
highest sense a sanctuary. Nooneentered 
it but the most privileged of the priests, 
and it contained nothing but the symbol 
of the presence of the god. In the 
Egyptian temples, this symbol was the 
shrine ; a chest or closet, containing a 
sacred pledge, and surmounted by an 
idol form on its lid or top ; that idol 
form being often guarded by winged 
creatures, two of the wings stretching' 
upwards, and two covering their bodies, 
as Ezekiel describes. The guardian hawk 
and ibis, and the^ wings of Isis Protec- 
trix precisely resemble this description; 
and indeed the ark of the Hebrews is 
exactly the Egyptian shrine, with the 
omission of the idol figure in the Mercy- 
seat. When carried by poles on the 
shoulders of priests, habited much like 
those of Egypt, trumpeters leading and 
following the procession, with their rams' 
horns at their mouths, as on occasion of 
the summons of Jericho, nothing can be 
imagined more like the sculpture on the 
walls at Medeenet Haboo, where the 
shrine, priests, and trumpeters make a, 
part of the coronation procession. The 
Sacrifices offer more points of resembl- 
ance than perhaps any other part of the 
institutions of Moses. The oblations or 
gifts were the same, and the libations. 
The Hebrews brought cakes, meal, wa- 
fers and wine, turtle-doves and young 
pigeons, exactly as we see that Egyptians 
brought them in days when no Hebrew 
had yet entered the Nile Valley. Swine 
were abhorred by the Egyptians as the 
tenements of evil spirits, from the ear- 
liest days. The practice of the sacrificer 
laying his hands on the head of the vic- 
tim, and confessing his sins, thus charg- 
ing the head with imprecations, is pre- 
cisely what Herodotus relates as the 
Egyptian practice; and so is the immo- 
lation of the red heifer. If the Egyp- 
tian animal was not entirely red, if a 

single black or white hair was found 
upon it, it was rejected, because Apis 
was black, and Typho red. The Hebrew 
sacrifice was to be "a red heifer, without 
spot, wherein is no blemish, and upon 
which never came yoke." "In the The- 
baid," says Sir G. Wilkinson, " the 
sheep was considered not merely as an 
emblem, but as the most sacred of all 
animals." " Strabo, Clemens, and many 
other writers, notice the sacred character 
of the sheep ; and the two former state 
that it was looked upon with the same 
veneration in the Saite nome as in the 
neighbourhood of Thebes." And such 
resemblances are found throughout the 
whole institution.' 

The historian of a later day, writing 
a narrative, d la Macaulay, for effect, in 
order to heighten the interest and in- 
tensify the 'situation,' attributes to God 
the honour of having invented these 
patterns, this tabernacle, those sacrifices 
and sacrificing priests ! It is thus that 
we see Moses through the enchanted 
glass of fable, with a halo round his 
head as he descends from tie solitudes 
of Sinai, after a personal interview with 
the Lord. It is thus that, through the 
same medium, comes the celebrated 
phrase, 'And the Lord said unto Moses.' 
Doubtless Moses left documents behind 
him — but it is not clear that he left any 
books. The scribe or scribes who com- 
piled the history of the Hebrews acted 
as modern historians love to act — they 
accounted for everything ; magnifying 
the greatness of their origin by the nar- 
ration of miracles and prophesies ; and 
justifying the claim to a tutelary God 
by a history of the many proofs he had 
given of his devoted care and attention. 
I do not say that the scribes wilfully did 
these things ; but that these things were 
done. I cannot account for them. The 
Law was not pretended to have been 
found in the Ark until the time of 
Josiah ; the Passover was not known to 
have been celebrated until after the 
Law had been made known. The priest- 
hood was not completely established 
until the reign of Jehoida. But when 
it was established it became worthy of 
its origin, thoroughly stamped with the 
impress of Egypt. Then we are told 
the first four books of the Pentateuch" 
were compiled, and the book of Deuter- 
onomy in the time of Josiah. 

It is remarked by Miss Martineau 
that there is an astonishing similarity 



between Osiris and the expected Messiah 
of the Jews — another derived idea. The 
Alexandrian Christians have hung the 
mantle of Osiris on the body of Jesus of 
Nazareth, and endowed the son of the 
carpenter with the character and^ attri- 
butes of the Egyptian deity. 

The ' primary attribute (of the Su- 
preme God) his Goodness, was embodied 
in Osiris, who left his place in the pre- 
sence of the Supreme, took a human 
form (though not becoming a human 
being), went about the world, doing good 
to men, sank into death in a conflict 
with the Power of Evil; rose up to 
spread blessings over the land of Egypt 
and the world, and was appointed Judge 
of the Dead, and Lord of the heavenly 
region, while present with his true wor- 
shippers on earth, to do them good. 
Such were the history and functions of 
Osiris, as devoutly recorded by the 
Egyptians of several thousand years 
ago. And here, in Philse, was his sepul- 
chre, where the faithful came in pil- 
grimage, from the mighty Pharaoh to 
the despised goat-herd, for a long course 
of centuries. — He was especially ordered 
for other reasons than his benefactions : 
as being the only manifestation on earth 
of the Supreme God. This made him 
superior to the Eight great gods, after 
whom he ranked on other accounts. How 
the manifestation was made in a human 
form without an adoption of human 
nature, was one of the chief Egyptian 
mysteries ; the ideas of which will now, 
I fear, never be offered to our apprehen- 
sion. — Upon his death, he passed into 
the region of the dead — (borne there, as 
the sculptures represent, by the four 
geniiof Hades) — and then, having passed 
through its stages, was raised to the 
function of Judge. — Among the allusive 
names of Osiris were those of " Opener 
of good," " Manifester of grace," and 
" Revealer of truth :" and the descrip- 
tion of hini was, in the ancient words, 
" full of grace and truth." He ob- 
tained the victory after his death over 
the Evil Principle which had destroyed 
him : and it was in his name, which 
they then assumed, that the virtuous, 
after judgment, entered into the state of 
blessedness which they shared with him. 
The departed, men and women alike, 
were called Osiris : this spiritual name 
betokening that they were now in that 
state where sex was abolished, where no 

marriage existed, but human beings had 
become pure as the heaven-born inhabi- 
tants It is impossible not to per- 
ceive that Osiris was to the old Egyp- 
tians what the Messiah is to be to the 
Jews ; and what Another has been to the 
Christians. The nature, character, and 
offices of Osiris, and the sacred language 
concerning him are so coincident with 
those most interesting to Christians, as 
to compel a very careful attention on the 
part of inquirers into Egyptian antiqui- 
ties It is a fact which ought to be 

attended to while considering the various 
solutions offered, that the character and 
offices of Osiris were certainly the same 
in the centuries which preceded the 
birth of Abraham — in the very earliest 
times known to us — as after the deaths 
of Pythagoras and Plato. This is proved 
by the sculptures in the oldest monu- 

These extracts and observations point 
to a subject which at least is worthy of 
a rigid examination by the Christians. 
Whatever moral beauty Christianity 
may have ravealed, or caused to be re- 
vealed to the world, it is to most men 
disfigured and polluted by the remains 
of the gross superstitions, the symboli- 
cal beliefs, and the fetish propensities 
of paganism. 

The conclusions to which these re- 
marks point are these: that Egypt was 
the mother of religion, that the religion 
of the Jews was derived from the reli- 
gion of the Egyptians ; that, as a con- 
sequence of that derivation, the idea of 
a special revelation in the case of the 
Jews is completely destroyed ; and that 
Christianity, as a matter of course, 
shares the fate of Judaism ; for Chris- 
tianity, taken as an isolated fact, origi- 
nating with Jesus of Nazareth, can have 
no special claims. 

We owe this new proof in favour of 
Rationalism to the disinterested re- 
searches of a few men who have found 
in the hieroglyphic language of the 
Temples, Tombs, and Pyramids of 
Egypt a living record of a mighty race, 
and made that record plain to us. These 
meu are great authorities, profound 
scholars, and indefatigable inquirers. 
They lived for years in Egypt ; they 
made their study, their bed, their daily 
and nightly abode, the Tombs on the 
banks of the Nile ; and though they 
have done much, more yet remains. 


&ur ^latfnrm. 

From which any earnest opponent may controvert nur opinions, and from which any may expound Tiews 
not coincident with our own, if tending to the Rationalisation of Theology. 


To the Editor of the Reatoner. 

Sir, — I believe in one supreme Being who created all things. I do not believe 
in a future state, because I can see no object in man's living again — neither do I 
think it would answer any good or wise end, I look upon the idea of a creature 
like man living in any state, or under any form, for ever, as an impossibility and 
an absurdity. I do not believe the book called the Bible to be the work of the 
supreme Being who created the universe ; and for this reason, because the works 
of creation — such as the revolution of the earth upon its axis, the motion of the 
heavenly bodies (as they are called), the succession of seasons, &c. — are beautiful, 
grand, and hai'monious, while the Bible is a book full of contradictions and absur- 
dities. I do not believe the supreme Artificer ever called out of a place called 
heaven, or anywhere else, to men upon this earth, and told them to write this or 
the other. I do not believe that Moses, or any other of the so-called inspired 
writers, was any more inspired than myself, or any other man of the present day. 
I look upon the creation of the world as given by Moses as a miserable produc- 
tion, scarcely fit for a nursery tale. I cannot conceive a being like the Author of 
all things taking six days to do what he could have done in a moment, and after- 
wards resting on the seventh, like a common mechanic, or labourer — thereby im- 
plying that that Being was tired with the work he had done. 

I look upon the story of Adam and Eve and the serpent as a beautiful allegory, 
having reference to the Virgo of the Zodiac, the herdsman who appears to be 
tempted by her. I believe if there ever had been such a Garden, and the 
Almighty had placed an Angel with a flaming sword to protect it, the place 
would be in existence at the present time. I do not believe an almighty Being 
ever created man for the express purpose of tormenting him, and for the childish 
offence of eating an apple. I do not believe that the Author of all things ever 
' repented him that he had made man,' and drowned all the world, with a very few 
exceptions. 1 believe that the story of Noah and the Deluge was taken from 

I know that the Being who made the universe must of necessity be a kind and 
benevolent being, whereas the God of the Bible is a monster of cruelty and in- 
justice. I do not believe the God of nature ever created devils to torment man 
after death. I believe there are no devils half so bad or revengeful as the priests 
of the present day. 

I do not believe that man was born in sin, as I cannot conceive a good and mer- 
ciful being making anything sinful or bad. I believe that scarcely any man is 
naturally bad or wicked ; 1 believe for the most part man is made bad by infamous 
laws made by worse men. I believe that the priests, persecuting their fellow-men 
for merely believing according to their own honest convictions, has been a fertile 
source of crime, from the fact of such persecution driving many good men from 
their position in society. I hold those passages in the Bible where it pretends a 
merciful God ordered a set of barbarians to slaughter thousands of their fellow- 
creatures, admitting them to have been a trifle more barbarous than themselves, 
as horrible and dreadful blasphemy. It is quite contrary to my idea to believe 
that a merciful God ever ordered ' Women big with child to be ripped up,' or that 



he should take a share in the spoil after a battle of either ' changes of raiment 
or the asses;' had it been written the priests' share instead of the Lord's, it 
would have been much nearer the truth. I agree with Paine, that if a man was to 
take the Bible, and with a pen, whenever he came to the words 'and the Lord 
spake unto so and so,' and write the priest above said unto the priest below, it 
would be more in accordance with the fact. Not only do I believe that to accept 
the Bible as the word of God can be productive of no good, but, on the contrary, 
by instilling false notions of the Deity into the minds of men, is productive of a 
vast amount of evil. Men would never, in my opinion, have taken so much plea- 
sure in cutting each other's throats, even for the sake of that miserable principle 
called faith, had they not believed in the Almighty having set the example. Not 
only do I believe the Almighty to have had nothing whatever to do with the book 
called the Bible, but I believe it to have been written by bad and ignorant Jewish 
priests for the whole and sole view of enslaving the minds of men for their own 
base purposes. I believe the whole of the so-called prophecies in the Old Testa- 
ment to be fallacies, as every one can, by a little tracing out, be found to refer to 
things happening at the time they were written, and to have no reference whatever 
to events which were to take place many hundreds of years afterwards. Take, for 
instance, Isaiah, where it says ' a virgin shall conceive and bear a son.' The story 
is all finished and done with in a few succeeding verses, and could have no possible 
reference to the birth of any supposed Saviour, which was to take place some hun- 
dreds of years afterwards. As I disbelieve totally and entirely in original sin and 
the powers of any devil over man, of course there can be no occasion for me to 
believe in a Saviour. So I look upon the story of Jesus Christ as being the son of 
the Almighty as absurd and ridiculous. That such a man did live is a possibility, 
and quite within the range of probability I will freely admit ; but as a reasonable 
being I feel bound to deny the Almighty having anything to do with him. I look 
upon the ridiculous story of the conception as quite as absurd as the story of 
Jupiter having connection with Leda in the form of a swan, between which and a 
dove, or Holy Ghost, there is but little difference. I believe according to Dupuis, 
Volney, and others, that the story of Christ and all his miraculous doings is only 
an allegorical representation of the sun. As regards the miracles that he per- 
formed I treat them as absurdities, well knowing how easy it is to impose upon the 
credulity of mankind, pai-ticularly in the darker ages, when we in our own time 
have seen people ready enough to be gulled by imposition — for instance. Mad Tom 
of Canterbury or the winking virgin of Rimini. My own firm and honest convic- 
tion is, that the whole of the Old and New Testament is totally and entirely the 
work of man, and that the Almighty had nothing whatever to do with the matter, 
and to believe in the truth of either I consider degrading to man as a rational 
creature, and insulting to a supreme and perfect Being. To the oft asked question, 
' Why has the system listed so long if untrue,' I reply, that the many millions a 
year basely appropriated for the express purpose, as well as the power and position 
its supporters are enabled to maintain, is quite a sufficient answer, to say nothing 
of the natural credulity of the greater portion of mankind who are fond of the 

Had the Bible been in reality the work of the Almighty, and necessary to the 
salvation of mankind, I doubt not it would have been written in such unmistak- 
able terms that all created beings would have believed in it : as it is, I would just 
as soon put implicit faith in the Koran, which is scarcely so absurd and unlikely a 
production. I look upon the whole code of morals, so called, as found in the New 



Testament, if acted upon would totally annihilate society. Take, for instance, the 
'turning of the cheek to the smiter,' or 'giving the cloak to the man who steals 
your coat.' 

I know that, for the opinion I have stated, I shall be called all sorts of 
names, such as infidel, blasphemer, &c., but I care not: the priests imprisoned 
Galileo for saying the earth revolved ; all men who have lifted up their voices 
against priestly power and intolerance have been abused and persecuted. I have 
stated my own belief as clearly and concisely as possible, with the whole and sole 
view of doing good to my fellow-men, by assisting them to see through the impo- 
sition which has for so long a time been practised upon them, feeling grateful daily 
and hourly myself for being emancipated from such soul-enslaving tyranny. 

In conclusion, I believe that time always was and always will be, and that year 
will follow year through countless ages, and I have come to the conclusions I have 
stated from convictions based upon my own reasoning powers, after having, as far 
as I am able, looked at both sides of the question for and against a belief in the 
Scriptures! and I shall, when my appointed time to die comes, resign my breath 
into the hands of the Being who gave it, without a fear, without a doubt, without a 
dread ; and even in the event of its pleasing that Being that I should exist again 
in some other state or form, I have no fear whatever that it will be in a state of 
misery or torture. 

[The writer of this paper belongs to a class of Christians with whom we rarely 
have the honour of communication. With his Theism of course we disagree, but 
we quite concur in his desire to rationalise the popular idea of Deity as set forth 
in miscalled Revelation, and cheerfully aid him by publishing his ' Principles of 
Belief.'— Ed.] 


Sm, — Apart from any special arguments which might be offered on the question 
of unbelief, I know of no better way of answering that class of religious enthu- 
siasts who are ever ready to question the propriety of any dissent from their own 
views and opinions, than by giving an outline of individual experience in that much 
censured method of ' living without God in the world.' It is said that a man des- 
titute of the ' faith which is in Jesus,' is a being lost to all sense of shame and 
rectitude, and that to a man who has turned his back upon religion, there is nothing 
left him here or hereafter but condemnation. Love, law, order, honesty, nor 
truth, are allowed to be in the possession of him who doubts the existence of a 
Creator. This is certainly bad enough, but there is something else which, in my 
estimation, is much worse — home is insulted, when it is said that to be infidel one 
must be a bad parent and a bad friend, when the wife and children of the infidel 
are treated with mock pity ; and it is in fact declared vice must necessarily exist 
with infidelity. Such objections, I think, may best be met by personal experience. 
I take to myself no merit in being an atheist more than this, that when I began to 
doubt the truth of revelation, I spared no pains to have my doubts settled on one 
side or the other: to trifle with a question like this I considered unpardonable. 
My faith at first (which was none of the smallest) revolted on a further examina- 
tion of the subject, and after a struggle it yielded to a ' little reason.' This I say 
from my own experience at the time, that the 'book of life' will make more infidels 
than any other book will, it it be only read intelligently. My convictions, after 
becoming fully acquainted with this book, certainly rested not Zionwards; and it 



is a matter of deep surprise now to me how I could have passed over the thousand 
and one objectionable passages in that book, in the thousand and one times I had 
really read it. Years have passed since then, and I can now honestly declare that 
I tried every means which reason might dictate to perceive the beauty of Chris- 
tianity, so much eulogised in the pulpit, to find out some unwarrantable cause for 
the changes which spring up in my convictions, giving the religion of my fathers, 
which was ever dear to me, the benefit of a last lingering doubt, and turning back 
upon this argument and that argument with a double desire of knowing the truth. 
And yet I did not read many infidel books, neither having the means nor the inclina- 
tion to procure them. What I did read was sufficient to assist me in coming to a 
conclusion. I felt that I did not possess the ability to justify anything higher than 
private controversy, hence I did not consider it necessary to know the opinions of 
early infidels, unless reference was made to them by present writers ; but as I 
thought it essentially necessary to understand the particular features of modern 
in6delity, I examined them attentively and patiently, and the conclusion I came to, 
after I had decided upon the insufficiency of religion as a moral regenerator, was 
to reckon myself a confirmed unbeliever, nor deny my principles whatever might 
be the contingency. 

Why I wish to be so explicit with these matters is, because of the frequent ac- 
cusation that infidelity i? the effect of wholesale vice, and that it inevitably leads to 
destruction. As to it being preceded by evil conduct I am at present prepared to 
deny, and, on the contrary, can honestly declare that the word of God itself, and 
the conversation of an esteemed friend, were the principal causes of my unbelief 
having existence at all — and to tell me that I read the Scriptures to my own con- 
demnation can have no influence with me. I read them with my prejudices, will- 
ing to be guided by my reason. I read them also for the purpose of clearing away 
my doubts of their worth. 

The cause that I assign for there not being more unbelievers is, that the Bible 
is the last book that is properly read. It is better circulated, but more doomed to 
moth and dust than any other book you can name. In very numerous instances, 
I have quoted passages from this book which have been more than questioned. 
Can the same be said of any other book that has been read ? The truth is, that 
religious faith materially afiects the senses ; and while we have this astonishing 
book in our hands we not only lose sight of ourselves, but we also lose sight of our 
subject. The only means by which we can extricate ourselves from this sort of 
mesmeric study, is to begin by doubting the truth of the text. 

Such is a prominent portion of my experience as a truth-seeker in religion. I 
must, however, say, I willed it not to be an atheist, I would rather have been a 
Christian, but it is otherwise. A man who would condemn another man for his 
honest conviction, perverts the best privilege it is our common lot to possess. 
Bradford. M. R. 


Sir, — This morning I was in Victoria Park and heard Mr. Adams speak. Towards 
the end of his discourse he inquired whether, in the crowd he was addressing, there 
were no Christians who would come forward and dispute any point with him. The 
challenge was not accepted, and at this Mr. Adams expressed his satisfaction, because it 
argued, as he thought, that no Christians were present. After the lapse of a short 
time he repeated the challenge, and hinted that if any Christians were present, their 
silence might imply a want of confidence on their part in the soundness of their doc- 




trines. Upon this a Christian did come forward, and although he was no match for 
Mr. Adams, so far as debating was concerned, yet from his earnestness of manner, his 
humility, and the evident benevolence of his motives, I doubt not that what he said had 
great weight with his auditory, and, in a great measure, counteracted many an impres- 
sion that may have been made by Mr. Adams in his preaching. If I had thought that 
I could do as well as the Christian above referred to, I would have accepted Mr. Adams's 
challenge, but never having spoken in public, I wanted confidence, and therefore re- 
mained silent. 

My silence did not arise from any doubt on my part as to the truth of the principles I 
advocate, and, as a proof of this, I beg to say that if you will give insertion in the 
pages of the Reasoner to a few observations I could make in reply to what I have 
heard recently in Victoria P ark, with regard to the morality contained in the first dozen 
or half dozen verses of Christ's sermon on the mount, I will send them to you. I am 
not a scholar, and shall not be able to say one-half of what doubtless could' be said on 
thi! subject. However I will do my best, and if no other end be answered, this public 
promise to do what T can, through the medium of your periodical, to defend Christi- 
anity, will satisfy Mr. Adams that there are men in the world who are not ashamed of 
the gospel of Cnrist. Juvenis. 

[If the comments of Juvenis are tolerably well done, we shall insert them. Will he 
please accompany them with his name and address? — Ed.] 

Statement of the Receipts axd Expenditure of the Rational 
Society, from May 1850 to May 1851. 

Keceited. £ s. d. 

Balance in hand Mar 17th, 1850 .. 3 7 

General fund received, vii. : — 

London, Al 036 

Lambetb O90 

Sheffield 15 


Cash in hand 

5 7 

Paid for postages, &c. duringf the year. . 
„ on acrount of cash advanced for 
' Herald of Progress' 

Cash in hand 










£\ 13 I 

Balance due on account of ' Herald of 

Progress ' 2 13 

THOS. WKITAKEE, Hon. Fin. Sec. 


Literary Institution, John Street, Fitzroy Square. 
June 1st [7jj, Samuel M. Kydd, * Oa the Laws of 
the Hcbrevrs.' 

Hackney Literary and Scientific Inst'tution, 
Mermaid Assembly Rooms. — June 4th [8], a lec- 

Hall of Science, City Road. — June 1st [ril, 
Thomas Cooper, ' Coustantine the Great.' 

Institute of Progress, 10a, Upper George-street, 
Sloanc-square. — May 30th [8], a Discussion. June 
1st [7i], a lecture. 

Eclectic Institute, Denmark Street, Soho. — 
Every Friday [8i], Mr. J. B. O'Brien, ' Home and 
Foreign Politics.' Every Sunday [74], on ' Moral 
and Social Science.' 

Free Inquirers' Society, British Coffee Rooms, 
Edgeware Koad. — June 1st [7], a lecture. 

Areopagus Coffee and Reading Room, 59, Church 
Lane, Whitechapel. — Every Sunday, Monday, and 
Wednesday (8), a Lecture or Discussion. 

City Forum Coffee House, 60, Red Cross Street. 
—June 2nd [8^], discussion. Strtiject, ' Does an 
all-wise Providence govern the Universe?' 

Works published by J. Watson. 

THE LIBRARY of REASON, containing aseries 
of articles from the works of ancient and 
modern authors in favour of FREE INQUIRY. 
22 Nos. stitched in a wrapper, with Title and Con- 
tents price 1 6 

P.S. — Persons requiriag single numbers to com- 

plete sets, can procure them from the publisher, or 

through his agents. 

Owen and Bacheler's Discussion on the Ex- 
istence of God and the Authenticity of the 
Bible. In 1 vol., neat cloth boards, price 4 6 

Discussion on God, in 1 vol., cloth 1 10 

Ditto ditto in a wrapper 1 4 

Discussion on the Bible, 1 vol., cioth 3 2 

Ditto ditto in a wrapper 2 8 

(Or in parts at fid. each.) 

Popular Tracts, by Robert Dale Owen, in 
1 vol., cloth boards 2 6. 

The Bible of Reason, or Scriptures of Ancient 
and i\!odem Authors. 1 thick vol,8vo. c. let. 7 6 

Godwin's Political Justice, 2 vols, bound 
in one, cloth lettered 5 

Mirabaud's System of Nature, 2 vols, bound 
in one, cloth lettered 6 

Volney's Ruins of Empires and Law of 
Nature, with three engravings. 1 vol., 
cloth lettered 3 

(To be had in Five parts at fid. each, or in 15 
numbers at 2d. each.) 

Shelley's Queen Jlab, with all the notes, 1 

vol., cloth lettered I 6 

Ditto ditto wrapper 1 

Trevelyan's Letter to Cardinal Wiseman . . 1 

The Revolution which began in Heaven : a 

Dramatic Vision ot Time, oy H. Lucas . . 6 

The Freethinker's Magazine, in ^ JNos. at 2d., 
and 2 Nos. at fid. 
London ! James Watson, 3, Queen's Head Pas. 

sage. Paternoster -row. 



Mr. Watson will soon recover entirely. But many will learn with regret, that 
both Mrs. and Mr. Martin have suffered in health a long time. 

Mr, Holyoake returned to town on Saturday evening, and he has to acknowledge the 
various newspaper reports chat have been forwarded. 

A M. Gobin was, in 1826, sentenced in France to six months' imprisonment, and a 
fine of 600 francs, for accidentally hitting a statue of the Virgin Mary, while shooting 
at a partridge. 

The Times, of May 15, says that ' It is not perhaps generally known that the men 
who deserted from the Cape Mounted Rifles have relapsed from Christianity in a body, 
and returned to their original Paganism, the labours of the missionaries having been 
lost upon them; and the knowledge they have acquired of the use of arms, has rendered 
them more dangerous enemies than they otherwise would have been.' 

The Bombay papers announce the decision of the first case under the recent Act, 
which established Liberty of Conscience in India. A man of the name of Narayun 
Ramchunder became a convert to the Christian faith, but could not prevail on his wife 
to follow him, and she in consequence separated herself from him, carrying away her 
child, a boy of seven years of age. Narayun Ramchunder, anxious to recover posses- 
sion of his child, instituted a suit against his wife before the Principal Sudder Ameen, 
That officer decreed, that the plaintiff by adopting Christianity ' had committed no act 
that rendered him morally unfit for the exercise of the natural right of the father to the 
guardianship of the child,' and decreed the case in his favour. The mother of the boy 
appealed to the judge of Ahmednuggur. That gentleman being more deeply versed in 
the peculiarities of Hindoo ecclesiastical law, decided that, according to the Shaster, 
' a Brahmin renouncing his religion becomes an outcast, and resigns and forfeits all his 
civil rights, comprising the guardianship of his children lawfully begotten prior to such 
renunciation.' The child was, therefore, given back to his Hindoo mother; hut the 
question was not allowed to rest here. The father appealed to the Sudder Court at 
Bombay, and in the meantime, Act 21 of 1850, the much-abused Lex Loci, had become 
law. The sitting judge recorded the following minute, which sets the question finally 
at rest, and will be gratefully remembered as the first application in Bombay of the 
great law of religious freedom. ' Since the Decree now appealed against was passed, 
Act 21 of 1850 has become the law of the land. This law clearly provides, that any 
law or usage that inflicts on any person, forfeiture of rights of property by reason of his 
or her renouncing the communion of any religion, or being deprived of caste, shall 
cease to be enforced as law. This being so, it appears to me that the special appellant 
under the existing law cannot be debarred from exercising the rights of a parent over 
his infant child, by reason of his renunciation of the Hindoo religion, but, on the con- 
trary, is entitled to all the natural rights and privileges of a parent.' 

Many newspapers addressed to Australia, New Zealand, and the United States of 
America, having been recently detained at London, in consequence of the postage due 
for their conveyance not having been paid, it has become necessary to call attention to 
the regulation under which a postage of one penny, either in money or by stamp, must 
be paid in advance upon each newspaper sent to those countries, and to point out that, 
unless such postage be paid, the newspapers cannot be forwarded. Postmasters desire 
the utmost publicity to be given to this announcement. 

London: Printed by Holyoake Brothers, 3, Queen's Head Passage, Paternoster-row; and Published 
by J. Watson, 3, Queen's Head Passage, Paternoster-row. — Wednesday, May 28th, 1851. 




They who believe that they have Truth ask no favour, save that of being heard: they dare the 
judgment of Mankind : refused Co-operation, they invoke Opposition, for Opposition is their 
Opportunity. — Editos. 


When returning from Sheffield last, I came by the Great Northern line from 
cariosity to see it, as I had never ridden upon it; on that day the train by which 
I should have come up the Midland failed to arrive at the Euston station when 
due — some accident had occurred. On going to Glasgow, a spring under the car- 
riage in which I sat broke in the night, and it was luckily discovered before our 
necks were broken. These would be called providential interferences if they hap- 
pened to a priest. 

Sometimes I relate instances in which I enjoy a laugh at an opponent's cost ; 
I will relate one now wherein an opponent may, if he pleases, have a laugh at the 
expense of myself. On the Sunday morning when the broken spring of the afore- 
said carriage was discovered, we were desired to get out. On doing so, I asked 
one on the platform where we stopped what place we were at. ' Lancaster ' was 
the reply. It had so happened that I had arranged with ' Julius Aspirant,' who 
had corresponded with me, and whom I did not know, to meet me as I passed 
through, and talk over the Rev. Mr. Fleming's letter in the Lancaster Guardian. 
In a similar manner, and for a similar purpose, I was to meet a stranger at Car- 
lisle. That I might be known, I agreed to walk on the platform with my hat in my 
hand. Getting out on what I supposed to be the Lancaster platform, I walked up 
and down hatless. It was scarcely daybreak; after travelling all night one felt 
susceptible of the cold, and the blast that poured down from bleak hills near 
assured me that the cold was no delusion. Seeing no one as I expected, I took a 
walk townward, while the new carriage was found and connected with the train. 
Having selected the cofiFee house in which I thought they kept the best fires, I deter- 
mined to take up quarters there when I went to reply to the Rev. Mr. Fleming. 
Then, standing on an eminence, I looked over the town to where I supposed the 
reverend gentleman's parsonage to be situated, and commenced an apostrophe to 
that unconscious individual. ' Is not ignorance sometimes bliss ?' I exclaimed, as 
I contemplated the pious lecturer on Infidel literature reposing in utter ignorance 
that the enemy (the 'arch enemy,' as an unsophisticated deacon declared me a few 
weeks ago) was so near. He who ought to have been on his watch-tower, lest the 
invader should break into Zion like a thief in the night, was reposing in indolent 
dreams. But no doubt, thought I, the good man turneth uneasily on his bed as 
the shadow of the Evil One falleth upon his window, darkening his room, and 
disturbing his slumbers. And at this point I was turning into a soliloquy that 
might have done credit to Ossian, when a huge, bladder-faced Hodge, who was 
running down to the station to meet a sweetheart going oflf by the train, precipitated 
himself round a corner against me, and almost knocked me over, and broke my 
apostrophe into two parts. 'Hallo, old fellow,' I ejaculated, 'where are you off to 
in such an irregular way?' 'To the Preston station,' he answered; 'I shall be 

[No. 262.J 


[No. 3, Vol. XI,] 


too late.' ' To what station?' I gasped; ' what place is this ?' ' Pbeston,' he re- 
plied, with what breath he had left, Aud true enough it was ; and I had been 
apostrophising my reverend opponent at Preston instead of Lancaster. Whether 
Mr. Fleming felt any inexplicable uneasiness that morning I have never learned. 
I am afraid not. 

It seemed like bursting upon a new world, as we passed over the borders of 
England and Scotland, and screamed away through hill and dale and torrent, as 
the morning broke upon the wide landscape around, and the sun, like the smile of 
affection on the face of age, fell on the hoary snow-clad mountain tops, and set 
their white faces laughing above their dark and solemn breasts. No worshipper in 
bird-cage temples, under skies of smoke, could inspire half the joy, good-will, and 
peace which the beauty of such a morning awakens. By the time I did reach 
Lancaster I had forgotten all about the Rev. Mr. Fleming, and was only recalled 
to a consciousness of his existence by the appearance of my friend, ' Julius A.' A 
fall of snow obscured everything as we reached Lanark, but sunshine won the 
victory again, and by one o'clock we reached Glasgow, where by accident it was 
as dry as bright. A party of friends had provided a cab for me at the station, 
and I started again for Paisley, where I met Pater and Mater Glassford aboat 
three o'clock. Thus supping at my own table in London on Saturday evening, 
I was in time to dine in Paisley the next afternoon. 

Passing over three weeks spent in Scotland, of which I shall give an accoant, 
our narrative takes us to Lancaster, in which town the placards have appeared as 
quoted last week. Instead of any Committee being formed, as I had hoped would 
be the case, I found, in the Lancaster Gazette of May 17, the following ominous 
welcome, entitled 


' With feelings of grief, not unmixed with sentiments of another kind, we have 
seen announced upon the waUs of our town the delivery of a series of lectures in 
defence of atheistical opinions. We find, further, by the same advertisement, 
that we are indebted for this truly pestilent visitation to a challenge thrown out by 
the Rev. Mr. Fleming, minister of the Independent Chapel. Mr. Fleming has been 
engaged in lecturing upon inBdelity in the town, and he seems to have made some 
allusion to a certain publication issued by one Holyoake, and, either at the time or 
at the conclusion of his lectures, thought proper to declare, through the medium of 
the press, that if the person called Holyoake felt himself aggrieved, he had better 
come down to Lancaster and maintain his cause, and he (Mr. Fleming) would 
undertnke to answer him. Of the indiscretion manifested in this parade of de- 
fiance it is impossible to entertain a doubt. Before taking such a step Mr, Fleming 
was bound to consult the feelings and opinions of the town. We feel perfectly 
satisfied that if Mr. Fleming had condescended to make the necessary inquiry in 
this regard, he would have found a thousand voices raised against a course of 
proceeding so obviously injurious to the best interests of society. The man 
Holyoake we know nothing about, but we will answer for it he is an adept at his 
craft, and well practised in the art of making the worst appear the better reason. 
With a ready tongue and a well stored armoury ot infidel weapons at command, 
such a man will never want hearers or (shame to think) admirers, whilst human 
nature continues what it is. The way to defeat the purposes of the professed 
atheist is never to defile one's sense of hearing by listening to his satanic sophis- 
tries : for, after all, the main-spring of his actions is human pride, and that ac- 
cursed attribute of our fallen condition is never so effectually rebuked as when 


encountered by the passive resistance of a contemptuous neglect. We, therefore, 
beg and beseech all such as do us the honour to read our paper, to abstain from 
visiting the lecture room. It is enough that our walls should be disgraced by the 
placards which for the first time (thanks to Mr. Fleming) now blaze upon their 
dishonoured masonry. The only chance left by which the town can wipe away this 
disgrace is for the inhabitants to resolve, as one man, that the lecturer shall have 
the lecture room to himself — that he may go away from Lancaster, enabled to say 
of the good old town that his lectures were unattended by a single creature. That 
is the way to treat infidel lecturers. We trust, for the honour of the town, that our 
humble but very earnest request will be thought worth attending to. If, on the 
contrary, the infidel lectures should be attended by any considerable number 
of listeners, Mr. Fleming must be held responsible for the consequences.' 

It is clear that those who read this might break my head, with the impression 
that they were saving their town from ' dishonour.' Taught to regard me as a 
' pestilence,' they might come to treat me as one. Yet the Gazette represents the 
Church of England party. The clergy of this Church are commonly gentlemen 
by birth, and ai*e always understood to be so by education, and from them we are 
accustomed to receive courtesy of refutation higher than their Dissenting rivals 
show to us. Among Dissenters 1 except the Unitarians, whose religion in- 
cludes courtesy. I was therefore surprised to find the Gazette descending to 
so much rudeness as this article manifests. 

ThuLwas certainly a very curious reception to give a stranger. If there were 
not tmfGuardian in the same place to exalt the character of letters somewhat, the 
public would have an extraordinary notion of editorial afi^ability in the good old 
town of Lancaster. 

But I was far more surprised to find in another Lancaster newspaper, the 
Guardian, a letter from the Sev. Mr. Fleming, to the same purport, but after a 
difierent fashion. What will the English public say to the following communica- 
tion to the editor of the Lancaster Guardian'? Had I invited Mr. Fleming to 
meet me in London, the best Hall at my command, or over which my friends had 
influence, would have been placed at his disposal, and the most intelligent and 
courteous audience we could have invoked should have been summoned to greet him. 


' My Dear Sir, — I see it is assumed in the hand-bill announcing the lectures to 
be delivered by Mr. Holyoake, next week, that I shall bjB present on each occasion, 
to reply to what is advanced. I have no such intention; and nothing that I have 
said or written in connection with the present discussion warrants any such ex- 
pectation. Moreover, I have other views of Christianity than to risk its defence 
in opposition to what may be urged against it, in a hurried and oflf-hand speech at 
ten o'clock at night. And this Mr. Holyoake must or ought to have known. The 
announcement, therefore, that "each night an opportunity will be afi'orded to the 
Rev. Mr. Fleming to reply," is, as it stands, a mere bait to ensure an audience. But 
though I have no intention of replying to Mr. Holyoake in the way that he evidently 
wishes me to do, and though in consequence of other important engagements, I 
fear I shall not even have the opportunity of hearing him, I yet abide by all that 
I have written, and in due season will show that "I am prepared to reply to him, 
and vindicate the claims of Christianity against all he may advance against them." 

' Sir, I cheerfully concede to Mr. Holyoake the right of holding what opinions 
he pleases. Against that I have nothing to say. The right of private judgment 


to the fullest possible extent, is his, and every one's. Still, in the exercise of this 
right, I believe he has grievously and fatally erred. Many of the opinions he 
holds, on questions of the greatest vital importance, and which he is most assiduous 
in propagating, I regard as most dangerous. That your readers may have some 
idea of thena, I submit to their consideration the following, extracted from his 
printed writings. " It seems to me that there is nothing in Christianity that will 
bear the test of discussion or the face of day :" " Nor am I a believer in the in- 
spiration of the Bible. That which so often falls below the language of men, I 
cannot, without disrespect, suppose to be the language of God :" " Surely we must 
see that sin against God is impossible :" " I have seen the falsity of the Christian 
system; my mind is made up upon it :" "I will undertake to show, and I think 
satisfactorily, that the morality of Jesus Christ is not that which we can safely 
follow, or profitably hold up for example:" " I therefore repeat that the best cha- 
racter in the New Testament, if imitated, becomes an ill example :" " It seems to 
me that Nature and God are one — in other words, that the God whom we seek is 
the Nature which we know :" " If there be a God, it is that Nature which every- 
where surrounds us :" "When man sinks, it is into the bosom of Nature:" "I am 
an Atheist, and the pulpits tell you that he who so avows himself must be, to use 
a phrase of their own, diabolical." 

'These, Sir, are the opinions of Mr. Holyoake, which I submit to the public 
through your columns, because the question,! find, is asked, "What does he teach?" 
What encouragement ought to be given to the advocacy and promulgation j^f such 
opinions, I will not now say. An opportunity of doing so will soon be en^yed by 
me. I leave it, therefore, with my fellow-townsmen themselves to judge of the 
course that ought to be pursued by them in this matter. 

'Sir, I regard it as a very fortunate occurrence that the evening on which these 
sentiments are first openly taught and advocated among us, is the anniversary- 
meeting of our Auxiliary Bible Society. At the very moment the Scriptures are 
denounced and held up to public scorn as fictitious and false, in Market Street, 
the truthfulness, and divinity, and preciousness of the Bible, will be advocated by 
intelligent, and holy, and earnest Christian men, in St. Leonard Gate. It is surely 
not too much to say that I hope all who love and value God's own word will en- 
deavour to give personal countenance to that anniversary, and thereby show that 
they prize the Scriptui-es, and are determined to sustain that noble institution in 
its soul-saving eiforts, which is one of the grand bulwarks of our day against the 
advances of infidelity, lawlessness, and crime. 

' Greenfield, May 16, 1851. James Fleming.' 

How could I help using his name on the placards ? Pledged to go to Lancaster 
to defend my opinions against the Rev. Mr. Fleming, how could the inhabitants 
know that I was come to fulfil my promise unless I told them so ? How could I 
do less than offer Mr. Fleming ' an opportunity to reply ?' What would he have 
said had I refused him an opportunity ? How could I help thinking that he 
would be present? He publicly announced that 'he would defend Christianity 
against all that I should advance against it ;' how, therefore, was he to know satis- 
factorily what I advanced, or how reply to me, if he never meant to come near? 
Then what justification had he for representing me, not as one who entered Lan- 
caster for the vindication of conscientious opinion, but as a trickster who sought 
baits to catch pence ? 

Moreover, as Mr. Fleming had accused me before the public of LancaBter of 
writing 'immoral' publications, why should he invite that public to a Bible 


Society meeting on the night when I opened my defence against his charges ? As 
a gentleman he ought rather to have encouraged that audience who listened to his 
charge to be present at my reply. Must we conclude that to be a Christian is in- 
compatible with the generous amenities of life ? Without knowing me, without 
having heard me, he tells the people of Lancaster that I should hold up the Bible 
to ' public icorn.^ Scorn implies derision and contempt. Why should my simple 
and earnest dissent from the received interpretation of scripture be painted so 
offensively as is here done ? Is Mr. Fleming incapable of distinguishing between 
respectful and derisive states of feeling? If he is not, he ought to cease to write 
about them; if he is, he ought to have observed more justice. But worse than 
this, he associates ' infidelity ' with ' lawlessness and crime.^ Thus he not only 
excited against me the prpjudices of the Christian, but he made me an object of 
suspicion to the civil magistrate. 

When this aspect of things was known to others, they advised me not to go to 
Lancaster, deeming it rushing on destruction or injury — ' into the lion's mouth,' 
etc, I thought so too, but that did not, under the circumstances, seem to me a 
sufficient reason for stopping away. So far as I could learn, no lectures of the 
kind I announced had ever been delivered in Lancaster ; and, from these notes of 
preparation, Itexpected that forcible means would be taken to prevent these. This 
sort of letters has, in our experience, often been the preFnde of violence, nor in 
this case were there wanting ominous signs. The Odd-Fellows, who let their 
Hall to Mr. Fleming — for it was in their Hall he made the attack — refused it to 
me to defend myself in. On me, a past officer of their Order, whose lectures they 
listen to on taking every degree — to me, to whom they had sworn, in the faith of 
the Order, to succour and help as a Brother — on me they closed the doors of their 
Hall when I was a stranger in their streets. This was one of the instances in 
which the brotherhood of faith destroys the brotherhood of man. 

One place was obtained — the singing room of an inn. But, immediately it was 
announced as taken, two letters were sent to the proprietor to induce him to cancel 
his word and refuse me. Also, he was waited on, I believe, by a member of Mr. 
Fleming's congregation, who offered the proprietor themoney he had let his room for 
if he would close the doors against me. And I began to see, in more ways than one, 
that though I was invited to Lancaster I was not welcome. At this point I sent 
instructions that no money should be spared, and that any demands should be met 
instantly; and I supplied money to meet any increase of charge that printer, or 
poster, or anybody might make or need in their reluctance or fear to supply me 
with the conveniences I required. I ordered the best place to be secured that 
could be had, so that my opponent might have no excuse that want of respecta- 
bility in the place was the reason of his keeping away. All letters for me I 
ordered to be addressed to the post office, that my own retreat might remain a 
secret if need be. On this account my intention of living at the Royal Oak was 
changed, as I feared they might treat me rudely ; and when I reached there I 
ordered a fly and drove to the outskirts of the town, and asked permission to stay 
with an obscure but honest family. It was not without apprehension as to the in- 
convenience that might result as to their future employment that they consented. 
The old gentleman I engaged as my servant, and I promised him the fullest pro- 
tection if harm accrued to him. The door-keeper I paid at the rate of a box- 
keeper of a theatre. On the first night he was knocked down by two rude fellows, 
who refused to pay him the advertised admission. G. J. Holyoake. 

[To be continued.] 


(SyKminatian al tl)c )9r££s. 

Rights op Women in America. — The following are extracts from a letter 
which has been received by Mr. Owen from his eldest son, Robert Dale Owen. 
The letter is dated Indianopolis, Feb. 25, 1851: — I sit down, my dear father, at the 
close of the hardest winter's work I have ever gone through in my life, to give you 
some idea of its character and results. All our States, you may remember, have 
written constitutions, embodying not only the great general principles upon which 
the State governments are founded, but also briefly setting forth, in many details, 
what it is judged wise not to leave open to the annual chances of changeful legis- 
lation. These constitutions usually remain unchanged for a considerable term of 
years ; a quarter to half a century. Ours has remained wholly unchanged for 
thirty-four years. When they are changed it is by a vote of the people in their 
primary assemblies. Last year a Convention was called for the purpose of chang- 
ing our constitution, or organic law, as it is sometimes termed ; and, as you know 
I was elected a delegate. Our Session commenced on the 7th of October, and 
terminated on the 10th of February ; and I have sent you, in the Indiana State 
Sentinel, the result. It will be submitted to the people next August'; and there is 
little or no doubt that it will be adopted by a very large majority; for it seems to 
give the greatest satisfaction. We had eighteen standing Committees, to each of 
whom one branch, or class of subject, was entrusted, to be matured and reported. 
And the chairmen of all these Committees constituted a Committee of 'Arrange- 
ment and Revision.' I was appointed chairman of the two principal Committees. 
The Committee on the ' Rights and Privileges of the Inhabitants of the State,' 
and the Committee on ' Revision,' consisting of the eighteen chairmen. Of course 
I was compelled by my position — even if inclination had not urged me — to take a 
leading part in thedelibej-ations and divisions of the Convention. Of course, 1 was 
the object of frequent attack ; but I believe that even my opponents admitted — to 
use a common phrase amongst us — that they * didn't make much of me.' I brought 
forward a proposition securing to women after maifiage their own property, 
instead of sufifering it to merge, as by the common law it does, in the husband. 
This, as you may suppose, was met by some of the sticklers for old custom, as a 
terrible innovation, calculated to uproot the foundations of society, destroy the 
harmony of the domestic circle, invade the sanctity of the marriage relation, and a 
great deal more of the same nonsense. I succeeded, nevertheless, in carrying 
through the provision in question, in somewhat varying forms, three several times 
by deliberate vote of ayes and noes. Each time it was reconsidered, and it was 
finally lost. This was chiefly eflfected by the influence of the Church. Several 
clergymen in this city attacked the proposal, aud me by name as its author, openly 
in their sermons ; and succeeded in scaring a few timid spirits who turned the scale 
against us. The question on final passage was ultimately lost by five votes only 
in a body of 150. — Robert Oweii's Journal. 

Priests no Reformers. — Goldsmith appeared to entertain fto very exalted 
opinion of the priesthood, for in Letter 10 of the ' Citizen of the World ' he says, 
' In every country the bonzes, the brachmans, and the priests, deceive the people ; 
all reformations begin from the laity ; the priests point us out the way to heaven 
with their fingers, but stand still themselves, nor seem to travel towards the coun- 
try in view.' 



€{ie (Batlfalic Paltts* 

A TRUE British Protestant, whose no- 
tions of ' Popery ' are limited to what 
he hears from an Evangelical curate or 
has seen at the opening of a Jesuit 
church, looks on the whole system as an 
obsolete mummery; and no more be- 
lieves that men of sense can seriously 
adopt it, than that they will be converted 
to the practice of eating their dinner 
with a Chinaman's chop-sticks instead of 
the knife and fork. He pictures to him- 
self a number of celibate gentlemen, 
who glide through a sort of minuet by 
candle-light around the altar, and wor- 
ship the creature instead of the Creator, 
and keep the Bible out of everybody's 
way, and make people easy about their 
sins : and he is positive that no one 
above a ' poor Irishman ' can fail to see 
through such nonsense. 

Few even of educated Englishmen 
have any suspicion of the depth and 
solidity of the Catholic dogma, its wide 
and various adaptation to wants inefface- 
able from the human heart, its wonder- 
ful fusion of the supernatural into the 
natural life, its vast resources for a 
powerful hold upon the conscience. "We 
doubt whether any single Reformed 
Church can present a theory of religion 
comparable with it in comprehensive- 
ness, in logical coherence, in the well- 
guarded disposition of its parts. Into 
this interior view, however, the popular 
polemics neither give nor have the 
slightest insight : and hence it is a com- 
mon error both to underrate the natural 
power of the Romisii scheme, aijd to 
mistake the quarter in which it is most 
likely to be felt. It is not among the 
ignorant and vulgar, but among the in- 
tellectual and imaginative — not by ap- 
peals to the senses in worship, but by 
consistency and subtlety ""of thought — 
that in our days converts will be made 
to the ancient Church. We have re- 
ceded far from the Reformation by length 
of time : the management ot the contro- 
versy has degenerated : it has been de- 
based by political passions, and turned 
upon the grossest external features of 
the case : and when a thoughtful man, 
accustomed to defer to historical autho- 
rity, and competent to estimate moral 
theories as a whole, is led to peuetrate 

beneath the surface, he is unprepared 
for the sight of so much speculative 
grandeur, and, if he have been a mere 
Anglican or Lutheran, is perhaps as- 
tonished into the conclusion, that the 
elder system has the advantage in phi- 
losophy and antiquity alike. From this 
among other causes, we incline to think 
that the Roman Catholic reaction may 
proceedconsiderably further in this coun- 
try ere it receives any effectual check. 
The academical training and the clerical 
teaching of the upper classes have not 
qualified them to resist it. At the other 
end of society there are large masses 
who cannot be considered inaccessible 
to any missionary influence, affectionately 
and perseveringly applied. Not all men, 
in a crowded community, are capable of 
the independence, the self-subsistence, 
without which Protestantism sinks into 
personal anarchy. The class of weak, 
dependent characters, that cannot stand 
alone in the struggle of life, are unpro- 
vided for in the modern system of the 
world. The co-operative theorist tries 
to take them up. But somehow or other 
he is usually a man with whom, by a 
strange fatality, co-operation is impos- 
sible : intent on uniting all men, yet 
himself not agreeing with any; with in- 
dividuality so intense and exclusive, that 
it produv:es all the effect of intolerant 
selt-will; nnd thus the very plans which 
by his hypothesis are inevitable, are by 
his temper made impracticable. He 
appeals, however, and successfully, to 
the uneasiness felt by the feeble in the 
strife and pressure of the world : he fills 
the imaginatiftn with visions of repose 
and sympathy : he awakens the craving 
for unity and iucorpoi'ation in some vast 
and sustaining society. And whence is 
this desire, disappointed of its first pro- 
mise, to obtain its satisfaction ? Is it 
impossible that it may accept proposals 
from the most ancient, the most august, 
the most gigantic organisation which 
the world has ever seen ? — that it may 
take refuge in a body which invests in- 
digence with sanctity — -which cares for 
its members one by one — which has a 
real past instead ot a fancied future, and 
warms the mind with the colouring of 
rich traditions — which, in providing for 



the poorest want of the moment, enrolls 
the disciple in a Commonwealth spread 
through all ages and both worlds ? 
Whatever socialistic tendency may be 
diflfused through the English mind is 
not unlikely, in spite of a promise dia- 
metrically opposite, to turn to the advan- 
tage of the Catholic cause. The middle 
classes of this country, and the foremost 
ranks of the artisans, have been so 
thoroughly cast in a Protestant mould, 
and so jealously vindicate their sturdy 
individuality, that no reaction from 
Rome will aifect them with any feelings 
but of amazement and contempt. Still, 
in the peculiar combinations of the pre- 
sent period, materials enough exist in 
England for the successful operations of 
a well-equipped, devoted, and skilful 
priesthood ; and if the prudence of Rome 
has failed her as to the mamier of her 
recent advance, her true instinct has 
perhaps detected the right moment. It 
must be admitted that his Holiness has 
thoroughly puzzled the English people. 
It is not clear to them how they should 
comport themselves towards his preten- 
sions. They have objections to arro- 
gance at all times ; and when an Italian 
Priest meddles with their national geo- 
graphy, disposes of their counties, draws 
lines around their cities, and, fixing an 
admiring eye on the unfurnished cathe- 
drals of Westminster and Beverley, 
supplies bishops for their future adorn- 
ment — they feel inclined at least to let 
him know that they are here, and that 
England is not an unoccupied colony to 
be parcelled out among his flock. But 
they read Cardinal Wiseman's Appeal, 
and become convinced that, if anything 
is amiss, it is their own fault ; for that 
apparently nothing has been done beyond 
the fair scope of law. Thin it is useless 
to be angry, unless they alter the law; 
yet to repent of what they did with a 
purpose of justice, and in a temper of 
generous trust — to recall their deliberate 
concession of free religious development 
— to resume again the detestable policy 
of theologic legislation — is a course 
which they would feel ashamed to con- 
template. Moreover, in such a course, 
it is equally diflicult to know how to 
begin and where to stop. To legislate 
about mere naums and titles, apart from 
the functions they denote, would be a 
helpless expression of childish irrita- 
tion : to prohibit the offices themselves 

would be to drive a wounding law into 
the interior structure of the Roman 
Catholic church. 

If Catholicism be a superstition, that 
is no reason for interfering with it by 
law Whether its solution of ques- 
tions of divinity be wiser or more foolish 
than that of the Protestant Confessions, 
is a matter with which the state has no 
concern. It may go astray on all the 
topics of the Thirty-nine Articles — may 
blaspheme in its prayers to the ' Mother 
ot God ' — may be idolatrous in the mass 
and pagan in the ritual, without justify- 
ing the slightest legislative check. Were 
it heietical as Antichrist, and false as 
the scarlet abomination, its career should 
run tree of the Attorney- General. Eng- 
lishmen enjoy — as inseparable from 
freedom of conscience— unlimited right 
of error and delusion. There is (or re- 
cently was) an establishment near Lon- 
don for the adoration of the Vital Prin- 
ciple ; where it is the most serious of 
crimes to eat beef, a deplorable infirmity 
to cut a cabbage, and the height of holi- 
ness to live on apples ripely dropping 
into the expectant aprons of devotees. 
The disciples of Mr. Holyoake under- 
take the propaganda of Atheism. The 
Book of Mormon succeeds among thou- 
sands in the North to all the honours 
of the Bible. And a nation which is 
wise enough to leave all these things un- 
molested by coercive check, cannot aban- 
don its forbearance in dealing with the 
confessional and the eucharistic sacrifice. 
If the Latter-day Saints may organise 
their staff of ' Angels,' and send them, 
in the name of Joe Smith, to baptise 
converted potters and believing house- 
maids in the waters of every large river ; 
the Catholics cannot, on any charge of 
superstition, be denied their order of 
Bishops, lor the supervision of the 
priesthood and the governance of their 
faithful. After tolerating so much new 
nonsense, we have lost all plea for grow- 
ing angry with the old. 

But, in fairness to the Protestant feel- 
ing, it should never be forgotten that 
the Roman Catholic system presents a 
feature absent from every other variety 
of Nonconformity, It is not a Religion 
only, but a Polity — and this in a very 

peculiar sense You might differ from 

John Knox about Synods, without pre- 
judice to your agreement in all else. But 
with the Romish Church it is different. 



It is not that her religion contains a 
Polity, but that her Polity contains the 
whole religion. The truths she pub- 
lishes exist only as in its keeping, and 
rest only on its guarantee ; and if yon 
invalidate it. they would vanish, like the 
promissory notes of a corporation whose 

charter was proved false Simple 

people imagine that theocratic claims 
are harmless because they refer only to 
spiritual matters. Cardinal Wiseman 
assures the Dean and Chapter of West- 
minster, that he does not covet their 
Abbey, or begrudge their revenues, or 
dream of meddling with their congrega- 
tion. He only wants to be a city mis- 
sionary, and carry light and consolation 
into noisome courts and alleys, where 
Protestant influence cannot penetrate. 
He and his episcopal brethren have no 
other function than to see that the 'poor 
Irish ' say their prayers — that the priests 
are diligent in their calling — that the 
altars have clean cloths, and the broken 
crucifixes get repaired. They administer 
in a kingdom that is not of this world : 
and never can quit their quiet sphere to 
enter into the affairs of civil life. Hu- 
man interests and institutions are no 
more in danger from them than from 
the angels in heaven. We believe this 
to be said in perfect good faith, from the 
Catholic point of view ; and for the hour 
to be true even from the Protestant. 
Bat before we concede, upon this plea, 
the demand of every church to perfect 
Autonomy — before we turn away with 
the careless assurance that these cleri- 
cal matters are no affair of ours, it 
might be well to know how and where 
the line is to be drawn between tem- 
poral and spiritual things. Evfcu in 
the reformed churches this boundary 
has been a topic of serious dispute. 

But, on the Catholic map of 

this universe, no such line is found at 
all; or if it seems to be there, it is but 
as the shadow of a window-frame, throw- 
ing its bar across the sheet, and shitting 
as" the sun of ecclesiastic glory rises or 
declines. What is temporal in England 
is spiritual in Spain ; what belongs to 
the kingdoms of this world in the nine- 
teenth century, belonged to the kingdom 
of heaven in the sixteenth. Dejure, the 
divine commission extends to everything, 
and might absorb this planet into the 
Papal state : de facto, it includes what it 
can, and stops where it must To re- 

cede with passive resistance in every 
step, to advance with active pressure in 
every opeu direction, is the policy of a 
priesthood that never dies. 

During the last thirty years there has 
been, till lately, a constant retreat of legis- 
lation from its interference with the pri- 
vate will; trum the press, tVoni commerce, 
from litigation, from religion, restric- 
tions have been removed ; and the notion 
hiis become current that the State has 
nothing to do but to protect ' body and 
goods.' So long as such an idea retains 
its i. fluence, and government attempts 
no more than to stop thett and keep the 
peace, it can scarce come into collision 
with any priesthood, and no apprehen- 
sion of any interference will exist : the 
two rivals are for the time on different 
walks, and will not meet. The vicar 
apostolic does not aspire to be constable, 
or the lord-lieutenant to perform ex- 
treme unction. But the time comes of 
inevitable reaction against our exag- 
gerated trust in individual self-guidance: 
fever and pauperism in cities, sullen in- 
digence in the country, excessive work in 
factories, and juvenile ignorance every- 
where compel us, as a community, to en- 
large our aims and embrace some moral 
ends. Reformatory discipline is at- 
tempted in the prison; inoustrial train- 
ing in the Puor Law Unions ; public 
grants are made for education ; and in 
Ireland, hrst, common schools, next, lay 
colleges are created under sanction of 
Parliament. Xo sooner does this nobler 
statesmanship begin to take effect, than 
the politician is told that he is trespass- 
ing on the churchmen's ground. Who 
but the priest can undertake the ' cure 
of souls ?' Who biit he distinguish 
their medicine from their poison ? Who 
else has a right to care about God's poor ? 
Are the Catholic youth to read history 
without a spiritual guide at their elbow, 
to tell them whom to canonise and whom 
to hate ? — and to learn geology without 
the art of squeezing the epochs within 
orthordox dimensions ? And to study 
astronomy without warning from the 
contumacy of Galileo ? No : vested in- 
terests of the holiest kind pre-occupy 
the territory of knowledge ; no plough 
shall touch, no harvest insult, its special 
right of eternal barrenness. And so, 
amid a pageantry, and with a secrecy 
fitted to mystify a dead of darkness, the 
Irish Episcopate hold a Synod at 



Thurles ; resolve to quench the best 
light of promise that for many a oenera- 
tion has been lifted above the storm of 
faction ; and surmising with sure instinct, 
that what brings the nation to port, 
must bring the priesthood to wreck, they 
repent of the prospect of repose, and 
steer the vessel right back into the 

And so, in proportion as legislation 

rises above matters of police, and 

attempts beneficent prevention, instead 
of posthumous infliction; just therefore 
when it begins to interest the moral feel- 
ing of the nation, and attest the growth 
of higher sentiments, does the altar ap- 
pear to bar the way, and the priest 
declares that all within the rail is his. 
At the moment and in the act of aspiring 
to a nobler life, the State is blocked out 
and spurned as most profane. So has 
it always been with that proud church : 
and so it must ever be. Yet, strange to 
say, all this may be without fault, with- 
out pride, in individuals. It involves 
no reproach to private believers or to 
official guides. They are entangled in a 
net whose threads have shot out fibres 
into their wills, and penetrated the very 
substance of their souls The ar- 
rogance of 5iome is something imper- 
sonal ; it is a function of her organism, a 
law of her ecclesiastic life. It utters it- 
self alike trom the lips of the meekest and 
the most insolent of her prelates, and 
whether acting through the energy of 
Hildebrand, the frivolity of Leo the 
Tenth, or the saintly virtues of Pius the 
Fifth, never permits you to forget the 
'Vicar of Christ.' It is in the very 
atmosphere of her traditions. Like the 
wind which, in crossing the ocean, distils 
its surface, taking up the pure water and 
leaving the brine ; these traditions, 
sweeping over the ages, absorb every 
glory and omit all the shame : and the 
temper which they nourish is the ac- 
cumulated product of a history which for- 
gets no victory and dwells on no defeat. 
But the social operation of this spirit is 
not alleviated by its absence, as a per- 
sonal disposition, from the individual 
heart. It cannot be untrue to its ten- 
dency. A system pledged to solitary 
and universal empire; enjoyed to see 
nothing, hear nothing upon God's earth, 
except itself, and the subject given for 

its sway ; bound to blot out all countries 
trom the map, and all ages from Chris- 
tian history, which do not bear witness 
to its unity and majesty, can make terms 
with no rival, and endure no equal. 
Others are free, when only not oppressed : 
but this feels itself a slave, till it is lord 
of all. 

What, then, is the political inference 
to be drawn from this theocratic character 
in the Roman Church ? Have we been 
supplying premises for a no-popery con- 
clusion ? Not so ; unless the canons of 
Exeter Hall logic are henceforth to be 
the rules of English statesmanship, and a 
hq^le cowardice to take place of that 
noble courage with which, in many a 
danger, the English people have dared 
to be just. Ambition in a sect, and ex- 
clusiveness in a creed, are good reasons 
for not arming them with special power, 
and trusting them with political privi- 
lege : but no reason at all for withhold- 
ing from them civil equality, or imposing 
coercive limits on the spontaneous de- 
velopment of their religious institutions. 
No one thinks of insisting on humility 
of mind as a condition of the franchise, 
or denying the alderman's gown except 
to the shoulders of modest innocence ; 
and as little can we make the temper of a 
Church a qualifying ground of its civil 
freedom. With our eye, then, full upon 
the inevitable tendencies of the lloinish 
system, with the conviction that it gen- 
erates a state of mind at variance with 
the English standard of civil and religi- 
ous liberty, with the certain knowledge, 
that the equal and tolerant treatment it 
receives it will never, in its place and 
day of power, be willing to reciprocate; 
we yet say to our fellow-oountrymen — 
Be just, and fear not; put not your trust 
in coercive laws, dream not that divine 
truth can be bought with the coin of 
human injury: be resolved, if ever you 
have to defend your own rights from 
encroachment, to enter the field without 
reproach. The free mind and the large 
heart in yourselves and your children, 
will be a surer charm against the priest 
and the canon law, than preventive 
statutes or an outcry for the Queen's 
supremacy.— i^rom ' The Battle of the 
Churches;^ Art. VII. of the Westmin- 
ster Review, for January 1851. 


Our |9latfoim. 

Prom which any earnest opponent may controvert our opinions, and from which any may expound views 
not coincident with our own, if tending to the Rationalisation of Theology. 


To the Editor of the Reasoncr. 
Sib, — Judging from what appears in your journal, you deem it desirable to be 
able to reduce the phenomena so commonly manifested by disputants to some 
defined physical rule, whereby the liability to invective and imputation could be 
estimated on scientific principles. Examining the Life of Joseph Blanco White 
some time ago, I found the following letter, addressed by him to a Liverpool 
paper at a time when controversy raged iu that port. What he communicates as 
having reduced to a science is as worthy to be ranked as a discovery in intellec- 
tual medicine as those of Jenner or Hahnneman in other curative departments. 
I am sorry White did not live to found hospitals and publish a manual of the new 
Art. . H. 

Sir, — I am an old practitioner of medicine, who have the misfortune of being 
established on so healthy a spot of the principality of Wales, that I hardly have 
anything to do in the way of my profession. The people among whom I live are 
so obstinate— I might say, rudely — well, that, for a time, I could not help taking 
their vivacious looks as a personal insult. But habit has reconciled me to this 
impudence of health, and I do no longer complain of their total disregard of my 
interests. I have, however, a little pittance of my own, and being naturally con- 
tentus parvo, i. e. not ambitious, my time is entirely devoted to the establishment 
and devlopment of a medical system of my own. Having very, very few near me 
who want my advice, I have for some time been in the practice of making cut 
medical cases for myself, entirely for the love of science ; for I seldom trouble the 
patients with my opinion, and never, of course, either was oflFered, or accepted a 
fee. But, ' How,' you will ask, *do you proceed ? Do you procure a view of the 
persons for whose welfare you are so disinterestedly concerned ?' No, my dear sir, 
not at all ; for, besides that, I could not afford to travel at my own cost — I should 
fear to be very uncivilly sent about my business when I had fully stated the object 
of my errand. 

Now, Mr. Editor, I beg your particular attention, for I am about to lay open the 
delicate, and, I might say, ethereal principle of my system. You know how many 
attempts have been made to discover the internal state of the microcosm, man: 
by the lines of the hand, cheiromancy ; by the features, physiognomy ; and lastly, 
by Ae bumps and dimensions of his head, phrenology. Nor have speculatists 
been wanting who wished to discover the state and peculiar structure of the mind, 
through the shape of individual handwriting. I have gone deeper into the mys- 
tery of man, and am, at length, in possession of a key which opens at once the 
moral and physical state of certain individuals to my observant eyes. The moral 
part of the discovery, however, I leave to the clerical profession, reserving to my- 
self that which properly belongs to the science of medicine. My guides (to come 
at once to the discovery) are the literary composition s of the various patients who, 
in absolute ignorance of their internal diseases, betray them completely through 
their writings. This science have named Bibliopathology. At present, there 
is but one adept of this miraculous science, that is, your humble servant, myself ; 
but I am ready to receive pupils, and if, by means of your valuable paper 



However, I will say no more, lest you should charge me for an advertisement. 
To return to my method. I procure as many of the publications of living authors 
as my scanty means and the kindness of my friends will allow me. I study these 
productions medically; and such is the efficacy of my scientific principle, that, if 
there is any morbid tendency in the author, I can instantly discover it. Oh ! sir, 
how many a young poet and poetess have I cautioned — alas ! in vain — against an 
approaching consumption ! How many cases of inanition have I predicted ! How 
many members of parliament (for I can form my diagnosis from their speeches) 
might secure themselves from the various dangers of epilepsy, water in the head, 
and the writhings of the cholic, if they would believe my prognostic of their causes ! 
But the largest field for my science I have always found among the clergy. There 
is not, my good sir, an episcopal charge but discloses to me a most wretched state 
of the internal system. As in parliament most of the indications are spasmodic, 
those of the clergy are mostly biliary. There is much plethora among thena, with 
its natural consequences of somnolency, constipation, &c., &c. 

But of bile ! The true atra bilis, which the ancients used to send to Anticyra, 
as we do to Cheltenham, I frequently find the most appalling symptoms. 

One of these cases has lately occupied my attention, which, as the patient 
(patient, of course, without his being conscious of it) lives in or very near our 
town, I have resolved to state to you at full length, that you may be good enough 
to make inquiries, and compare actual realities with my scientific conjectures, 
which, as you will easily believe, are more than realities to myself. 

You are well aware the theological controversy is raging in your town of 
Liverpool. A theological controversy ! Oh ! if medicine had generally been 
carried to the acme of perfection to which I have brought it, that name would be 
more formidable than the influenza three years ago. Well, then, I have atten- 
tively examined the internal state of various individuals, as it is deducible from their 
printed productions on this occasion. I will not give you all my observations, for 
fear of tiring you ; but I must beg your particular attention to the case of the Rev. 

Mr. , as clearly indicated in a letter addressed to the Rev. Mr. . I never 

met with a more dangerous superabundance of bile — acrid, corrosive — threatening, 
in my opinion, a spontaneous combustion of the patient. I should not be sur- 
prised, indeed, if one of these mornings there should be found in the bed of the 
reverend gentleman a handful of caput mortuum, some alkalies, perhaps — the 
rest of the individual having been converted, with a loud detonation, into what the 
Germans very appropriately call sour gas. 

1 must, however, inform you of another delicate part of my method, which I 

have particularly applied to the case of Mr. . It is this : out of the ancient 

and modern satii-ists I have chosen some strikingly-depicted characters to gfiide 
me in such medical investigations. Now, when 1 find in a recently-published 
book or pamphlet that the author might have sat to the satirical painter for 
one or other of his remarkable pictures, I directly infer a morbid state in 
the living writer — else how could a man with a sound constitution be so ex- 
tremely like an exaggerated drawing, perhaps a caricature ? Let us apply this 
rule to Mr. M [the particular clergyman in question.] 

The paper found in the street by Mr. Dyer has not sufficent interest for 
Was the letter of ' M. A. L.' intended for publication ? 




In the short time which has elapsed since this work was announced, two editions 
have been sold. A third edition has been prepared and is now ready for delivery. 
The following summary of the contents of the work will show the nature and 
variety of the topics treated in it : — 

Chap. I.— Before the Traprisonment. Chap. III.— After the Sentence. 

Chap. II. — The Trial. Chap. IV. — After the Liberation. 


Inscription to W. J. Birch, M.A. 
Reasons for writing the History. 
Social life in Cheltenham. 
The experience of a Socialist Missionary. 
The Blasphemy. 
The English Socialists of 1840. 
The fate of the poet Sperry. 
Euclid's Elements indicted for heresy. 
The apprehension of Mr. Holyoake. 
The examination in the police court. 
A dog-fancier giveth evidence. 
The Rev. Dr. Newell ' will have no quib- 
Mr. Capper's idea of bold men. 
The old man at the Merlin's Cave. 
Surgeon Pinching argueth. 
The journey to Gloucester handcuffed. 
Letter from John Arthur Roebuck, M.P. 
Verbatim copy of the committal to Glou- 
cester Gaol. 
Superintendent Russell's removal. 
Inquiries by the prisoners. 
The chaplain withholds Mr. Holyoake's 
books. [cell. 

Two magistrates visit the Atheist in his 

Pen and ink portrait of ' old Bransby 

London an enchanted land. 

Mr. Holyoake's first lecture at the Rotunda. 

The apprehension of the Adamses. 

The ' usual thing,' by Mr. Bubb. 

A barrister's defence. 

The sentence upon Adams. 

Mr. Justice Erskine's estimate of morality. 

The javelin-men are detained. 

A scene in court — the servility of ignorance. 

Mr. Ogden is indignant. 

Mr. Holyoake is indicted for fighting Om- 
nipotence with force of arms. 

The judge thinks Lovesey had better ' go.' 

A sour-looking gentleman is discomfited. 

The speech for the Crown, such as it is. 

Bartram gives evidence. 

The ' chafiF' in the office about the blas- 

Mr. Holyoake commences his defence. 

The speech of Craven Berkeley in the 
House of Commons. 

Sir James Graham censures the magistrates. 

Mr. Justice Erskine interrupts the prisoner. 

The judge explains the law. 

He explains himself. [Chronicle. 

Portrait of Mr. Holyoake in the Morning 
Mr. Holyoake likely to shoot the Queen. 
The golden rule of Jean Jacques Rousseau. 
Mr. Holyoake's memorial to Sir James 

Godwin's epitome of Socialism. 
Goethe's statement of the problem. 
Mr. Bransby Cooper interrupts the Court. 
Death of Mr. Holyoake's sister. 
The Reign of Time. 
Five modes of solving the problem of the 

existence of God. 
The court retires. 
Mutton-eating blasphemous. 
The doctrine of right, as laid down by Lord 
John Russell. 

Motto of Sir James Graham. [address. 

The judge asks to see the Rev. Mr. Close's 

The gaol Manual of Devotion. 

Judge Erskine's opinion of Strauss's ' Life 
of Jesus.' 

Maxim of the Vicar of Wakefield. 

Milton and the Jesuits. 

Statement of the Common Law. 

The Judge suggests a Writ of Error. 

Christianity in a legal point of view. 

Lord Chief Justice Abbott's law of juries. 

The author of Wat Tyler's apology. 

Peroration of the defence. 

The Charge of the judge. 

The jury deliberate. 

The Deist falters. 

The sentence. 

Criticism of the defence. 

Acknowledgments to Publicola and others. 

An apple supper. 

The visiting magistrates come round. 

Howitt's correct list of the cast, quit, and 

Ogden summonses to prayer. 

The chaplain comes to remonstrate. 

Mr. Holyoake requires to be carried to 

The lost sheep which cannot stray. 

Mr. Holyoake locked up during prayers. 

The prison dress proposed. 

The art of resistance in gaol. [seen. 

Mr. Jones appeals to what sky could be 

Mr. Jones reads the 14th Psalm, and de- 
parts for ever. 


Death and reappearance of Richard Carlile. Return to Birmingham. 

The bed of grease. Mr. Holyoake's address on his liberation. 

Sir James Graham's concession. Parliamentary diet for the cure of atheism. 

Preparation for suicide. Letter to the editor of the Cheltenham 

Illness and death of Madeline. Free Press. 

The genius and worship of liberty. Art of making applications in gaol. 

Burial of Madeline. Mr. Bransby Cooper speaks out. 

Mrs. Holyoake's visit to Gloucester. Scenes at morning prayers. 

Portrait of Captain Mason, the governor. Writing in the dark. 

Upton learns a( grammar. Interview at night with the government 

Ogden's elephantine hints. commissioners. 

The governor's retaliation. The moral of the book. [tianity. 

Captain Mason's idea of oath-taking. Persecution shown to be legitimate Chris- 

A reciprocal dialogue with the chaplain. Persecution actually a power to put down 

The Temptation. opinion. 

The last effort at conversion. Gaols the colleges of the people. 

The dumpling-shaped Bible. The Equity and Law Life Assurance Society. 

Interview with the Board. The conditions of law-breaking defined. 

Origin of ' Paley Refuted.' Statement of the Atheistic question. 


Clerical gentlemen of every denomination, and all who believe that the labourer 
is worthy of his hire, may now conscientiously select those articles necessary to a 
respectable exterior from the cheap clothes mart of Nebncadnezzar and Son. The 
violent outcry against gentlefolks patronising those firms who are supposed to pay 
their workpeople starvation prices, is silenced, and Fashion may now replenish her 
wardrobe, for next to nothing, without the fear of being haunted by spectral artizans 
and their wives and little ones. The Hebrew character has outlived the obloquy 
to which it has so long and so unjustly been subjected ; and it must in charity be 
supposed, that the paltry list of prices, Jewish firms are said to pay for the making 
up articles of attire, is purely fictitious. 

Nebncadnezzar and Son have, by a stroke of ingenuity and considerable outlay, 
illumined the public mind with respect to the real nature of their sentiments 
towards the masses who live by the sweat of the brow. They have caused to be 
written in letters of fire (that is jets of gas) the words ' God bless the People ' along 
the whole range of their extensive establishment in Oxford Street; and thus, 
nightly, the disaffected crowd may inform themselves that their paymasters are 
by no means so cruel as they are represented to be — at least they are willing that 
the people may be blessed spiritually if not by better prices. 

Bigots may contemn the gas light benediction of the Hebrew firm as no better 
than a splendid mockery; the over-refined may deem it profane to mix up prayer 
with paletots and pantaloons ; but whatever those who have not learned to live in 
charity with all men may say of the holy device emblazoned on the show-rooms of 
the enterprising Israelites, there is no doubt those disinterested capitalists will 
bear the vilest insinuation of their enemies with a 'patient shrug,' and that their 
virtues will continue to shine forth (as the Mormon prophet has it) ' in the most 
glorious and brilliant manner.' 

It is not every tradesman who can boast the happy arrangements of our Jewish 
outfitters, who not only supply a genteel garment at a lower rate than any other 
firm in the trade, but in addition they perform the arduous duties of high-priests, 
and turn their shop into a house of prayer. 

• By Moses and Son, who have had the words • God bless the People ' put up in gas on 
the side of their shop in Oxford Street, London. 



It is to be hoped that as the stricken Israelites were healed by the brazen serpents 
which Moses hung out in the wilderness, so our over-worked artizans may derive 
some comfort from the contemplation of the ingenious contrivance invented by the 
Moses who sojourns in these latter days in the wilderness of Oxford Street. 



Literary Institution, John Street, Fitzroy Square. 
June 8th [7i], Robert Owen, ' Address to the 
Strangers who visit the World's Fair.' 

Hackney Literary and Scientific Institution, 
Mermaid Assembly Rooms. — June 11th [8], a lec- 

Hall of Science, City Koad. —June 8th [ri], 
a letture. 

Institute of Progress, 10a, Upper George-street, 
Sloane-square. — June 6th [8], a Discussion. June 
8th [7J], a lecture. 

Eclectic Institute, Denmark Street, Soho. — 
E^ery Friday [SJ], Mr. J. B. O-Brien, ' Home and 
Foreign Politics.' Every Sunday [riL on ' Moral 
and Social Science.' 

Free Inquirers' Society, British Coffee Rooms, 
Edgeware Uoad. — June 8th ["], a lecture. 

Areopagus Coffee and Reading Room, 59, Church 
Lane, Whitechapel. — Every Sunday, Monday, and 
Wednesday (S), a Lecture or Discussion. 

City Forum Coffee House, 60, Red Cross Street. 
— June 9th r8i], discussion. Subject, ' Does an 
all-wise Providence govern the Universe ?' 


To Visitors to the International Exhibition. 

J J. BRTANT (late of the London and Glasgow 
• Arms, 292, Buchanan Street, Glasgow) having 
CIAL LODGINGS, 469, >ew Oxford St., so in- 
forms those of his Glasgow friends who intend visit- 
ing the Metropolis. Consideration will be paid both 
to comfort and economy. The Crown is centrally 
situated between the City and the Crystal Palace. 
Omnibuses to all parts of London continually pass 
the Door— Fare 4d. The Crown is within three 
minutes' walk of the British Museum. 

Cards to be had of Mr. Brocklehurst, 292, 
Buchanan Street, Glasgow. 

J. J. B. being thoroughly acquainted with Lon- 
don, intending visitors from any part of Scotland, 
Ireland, or the English provinces, may usefully 
communicate with him previous to leaving their 

It will be some guarantee to friends to observe 
that, before residing in Glasgow, J. J. Bryant was 
a long time a member of Branch A 1. 

1 APARTMENTS, in a Large and Airy House, 
and healthy situation, with Sitting Rooms if re- 

No. 6, Clyde Tkbeace, Caledonia Road, 
Near the Station of the Great Northern Railway. 
Terms very moderate. 

ETRUELOVE, at his Periodical and Publica- 
• tion Depot, 22, John-street, Fitzroy-square, 
adjoining the Literary and ticientific Institution, 
is now selling the lollowing works, many of them at 
reduced priceii : — s. d. 

Paine's Political Works 5 

Age of Reason 3 

Voltaire's Philosophical Dictionary, complete 6 
Gibbon's Decline and Fall of the Roman 

Empire, complete IS 

The First Five Vols, of the Reasoner, 
hf.-bd., including the Herald of Pro- 
gress 20 

The Chemist, in 4 vols 14 

The Quarto Edition of Busby's Lucretius, 

with large portrait of Epicurus, half bound 7 6 

The Diegesis, by Robert Taylor 5 

The Devil's Pu'.pit, by <litto 4 6 

The Lion, edited by Carlile&R.Taylor,4vol8 15 

The Vestiges of Creation, complete 2 6 

Ernest Jones's Lectures on Canterbury v. Rome 1 
Voices of Freedom and Lyrics of Love, by 

Gerald Massey 1 

Tlye Seerest of Prevorst, being revelations 
concerning the inner life of man, &c., by 

Justinus Kerner 1 6 

Babeut''s Conspiracyfor Equality. B. O'Brien 3 

Eugene Sue's Wandering Jew, best edition 2 6 

Ensor's Political Works, strongly bound,4 vols 6 

Burns' Complete Works, 14 illustrations, g. e. 1 

Shelley's Works, neat pocket edition 2 

The Labour Question, by ilichel Chevalier, 
and the Addresses of Louis Blanc at the 

Luxembourg 6 

The Words of a Believer, by the Abbe de 

Lamennais 6 

The People, by Michelet, best edition .... 1 
Historic Pages from the French Revolution 

of 1848. By Louis Blanc 1 

The new Ecce Homo, by Blumenfeld .... 9 

The New Lanark Report, by Robert Owen 3 

The Social Hymn Book 6 

Carpenter's Political Text Book 1 

13 Lectures by Robert Owen 1 

Romanism the Religion of Terror, and 

Sects and Sectaries each 2 

Shortlvwill be published DEATH-BED 
REPENTANCE, its fallaciousness and 
absurdity ; a new edition, rewritten by 

Robert Cooper, of Manchester 2 

The Communist Chronicle, byGoodwyn Barmby 6 

The Student, a sceptical play, by F. Bate 3 
Just punlished. Two Letters to Dr. CumTning 
on the subject of his lecture, entitled God in Sci- 
ence, by \V. D. 

E. T. has constantly on sale a large collection of 

all the best pdlitical, social, and infidel publications. 

Newspapers sent to all parts of the country to 

order. Bookbinding with economy and despatch. 

Works published by J. Watson. 

THE LIBRARY of REASON, containing a series 
of articles from the works of ancient and 
modem authors in favour of FREE INQUIRY. 
22 Nos. stitched in a wrapper, with Title and Con- 
tents price 1 6 

P.S. — Persons requiring single numbers to com- 
plete sets, can procure them from the publisher, or 
through his agents. 

Owen and Bacheler's Discussion on the Ex- 
istence of God and the Authenticity of the 
Bible. In 1 vol., neat cloth boards, price 4 6 

Discussion on God, in 1 vol., cloth 1 10 

Ditto ditto in a wrapper 1 4 

Discussion on the Bible, I vol., cloth 3 2 

Ditto ditto in a wrapper 3 8 

(Or in parts at 6d. each.) 
Popular Tracts, by Robert Dale Owen, in 

1 vol., cloth boards 2 6 

The Bible of Reason, or Scriptures of Ancient 

and JModem Authors. 1 thick vol.Svo. c. let. 7 6 
Godwin's Political Justice, 2 vols, bound 

in one, cloth lettered 6 

London : James Watson, 3, Queen'a Head Pas- 
sage, Pateinoster-row. 



Our Opm 

' PuBLicoLA,' in a recent letter, observes: — 'There is a deplorable and general 
want of self-reliance in the people, which cannot be observed without apprehension. 
We seek for patronage in every thing — in religion, politics, trade, taste, literature, 
and charity. We beg to be "led by the nose as asses are." A single "noble" 
Reformer, with just a moderate portion of the other qualities for the post, would give 
the headless party of Reformers in the House of Commons the leader, and thereby 
the union and efficiency, now so desiderated, for it. But there must be station and 
position as well as talent. That sappy imitation of humanity, Lord Granby, is the 
recognised leader of the Protectionists. Disraeli is not Captain, only Adjutant. 
Our artists cannot make an Exhibition, nor our Hospitals get up a subscription 
list, nor our counties convene a meeting, nor our malcontents start an opposition, 
nor our amateurs play a play, nor our societies frame an organisation, nor our 
mechanics' institutes hold a tea-drinking, without patronage. We are slaves of 
names. We do not believe in principles; we believe in Lords. Those who cannot 
catch a Lord, put up with an M.P. Were the Saviour to come again, we should 
ask whether the Pharisees believed in him. But for Prince Albert, the world's 
grandest Exhibition would never have been realised. To benefit decayed authors, 
we must have a Ducal saloon for theatre, a Baronet for playwright, and the Royal 
Family for spectators. Our very Socialism requires to be nursed and dandled by 
a clergyman. The one thing in which we must eo-operate is the game of " Follow 
my leader." And any may lead who are before us in the world. We are servile 
in our pride, and proud of our servility. Some nerve is needful to be hopeful of 
such a people.' 

Horace Walpole, in his recently-published correspondence with the Rev. W. 
Mason, says — 'I have read divinity which taught me that no two persons agree, 
and metaphysics which nobody understands ; and consequently I am little the 
wiser for either.' 

Mr. Holyoake acknowledges the receipt of a religious letter from the Rev. 
T. CoUisson, Curate of New Radford, accompanied by 'Three Lectures on the Bible 
and Infidelity.' 

Mr. Newsham asks what History gives particulars of a time when 'man living 
with his family acknowledged no other authority than his parents,' which he says 
he reads in the Reasoner of May 7th. We must refer him to the writer of the 

Will ' W. E. B.' favour us with his address to his fellow subscribers, and an ex- 
amination of Mr. Alfred Smee's 'Untrodden road to the proof of the Existence 
of God ?' 

Robert Owen is about lecturing again in London. At the John Street Institu- 
tion, on June 10, 1851, he is to deliver an address to the strangers visiting the 
World's Fair, 

Dr. Bateman has offered a prize of five guineas for the best Essay on the follow- 
ing subject: — 'In what w:iy is the Great Exhibition calculated to increase the 
Domestic Comforts and elevate the Character of the Working-classes; and what 
are the best means of making it available for these purposes ?' The Essays are 
to be sent with as Uttle delay as possible, to the Society of Arts, or to Dr. Bate- 
man, East India-road, London. 

London: Printed by Holyoake Brothers, 3, Queen's Head Passage, Paternoster-row; and Published 
by J. Watson, 3, Queen's Head Passage, Paternoster-row. — Wednesday, June 4th, 1851, 


They who believe that they have Truth ask no favour, save that of bein^ heard: they dare the 
judgment of Mankind : refused Co-operation, they invoke Opposition, for Opposition is their 
Opportunity. — Editor. 


Space, that Supreme Arbiter of all articles, put an abrupt termination to my 
report last week at the point at which I recounted that the old gentleman who 
received money at the doors was thrown down. He was fortunately not much 
hurt, but was naturally enough intimidated, and I gave him a special sum on 
account of the assault, and guaranteed him the same sum every time he was 
knocked down ; and, in case he was hurt, the best medical aid that could be com- 
manded ; and, in the event of his being injured in his humble connection by serving 
me, I undertook to remove his whole family to any town he selected, and sustain 
them till I provided them with new employment. Why I did this was, that I 
adhered to my fixed resolution of never imposing on any persons the responsibility 
which belongs to the course I chose to pursue myself. If need had been I would 
have spent in Lancaster all the proceeds of my three weeks' labour in Scotland 
rather than have been prevented offering the explanations the public there had a 
right to expect. If my expenses were greater than I could defray, I should apply 
to the readers of the Reasoner to make up the deficiency To proceed — I desired 
my door-keeper to engage an able assistant to stand nearhim as a protection. The 
printer first applied to, to print my bills said, ' no,' and added ' it was a serious 
thing to meddle with Christianity in Lancaster.' The party who made this strange 
reply gave an ominous weight to it. On what ground fair play could be ' serious ' 
I could not make out. No law existed which foreshadowed any punishment for 
the explanation of my views, without the concurrence of the Attorney-General to 
the indictment. This could not be unknown to the party in question ; and as 
his printing a simple announcement could not be illegal, whatever my speaking 
might prove to be, there remained no very agreeable construction to put upon this 
answer. But anotherprinter tooka juster view of the matter, and my bills were issued. 
When the Sunday preceding the lectures arrived, from all the pulpits, I was in- 
formed, adjurations were addressed to the flocks not to attend my lectures. Yet 
there was one honourable exception to this, that of the Unitarian church, whose 
minister advised his hearers to go and judge for themselves. Not exactly knowing 
what to expect, I took the precaution to write to Sheffield, to one who was not 
only a good friend, but a strong-armed friend, whom I wished to see, both for company 
and service, for the only persons known to me were the two whom I had engaged 
as my servants, and who had neither influence nor help that they could render for 
my protection. But I was too late. Prior engagements prevented my friend 
coming. So I went down to the lecture room alone. The passage leading to it 
was blocked up by people to whom two men were distributing scurrilous religious 
tracts which had been imported from that sacred depository of calumny, the Religious 
Tract Society of London. One of the tracts being given away represented thelnfidels 

[No. 263.] lNo.4, Vol. XI.] 



as men who ' lie in wait to deceive, who are diligently bent on ruining the present 
peace and the future prospects of paankind ; who despise dominion, speak evil of 
dignities, and promise men liberty, while they themselves are the servants of 
corruption.' Saying further that 'it is awfully true, that this is a day of rebuke 
and blasphemy, in which bold bad men have arisen speaking perverse things, even 
denying the Lord who bought them ; men who would cast down both the altar 
and the throne, would rob the Christian of his charter, and strip him of his hope, 
his help, his heaven.' 

Another tract being given away was by the Rev. Hugh Stowell, describing the 
infidel as being as bad a character as can be well conceived ; a drunkard, a blas- 
phemer, and a cruel husband. These statements were put into the hands of the 
entire audience. If they believed but half of what was thus ungenerously told them 
I could not fail to find the meeting as amiable as a den of tigers. One lady was 
so far struck by the forocity of the spirit of these tracts so distributed, asked if she 
should send for a policeman ? I declined to allow one to be introduced about the 
meeting, as the presence of such persons often suggested violence or led to it. I 
assented that it might be well to have one available in case of need. The sequel, 
however, showed that neither the press nor the pulpits were able to put down the 
lectures, for, on entering the room, I found a good audience, and a slight cheer on 
entering showed me that I might even calculate on good feeling. I was told that 
the audience comprised some of the best families in the town. I first passed in 
review the article in the Gazette and the letter in the Guardian, then the tracts at the 
door, marking distinctly the estimate I was obliged to form of my reverend opponent. 
Then I proceeded to state the case between atheism and theism, which was the 
subject for the evening. Not the slightest interruption occurred from beginning 
to end. I was myself sole occupant of the orchestra, and I then left the meeting 
open for any reverend gentleman present to call in question my statements, so 
far as he thought me wrong. 

The Rev. Mr. Hereford, Unitarian minister, was the first who rose. He said 
' he thanked Mr. Holyoake for having laid his opinions before them, and for the 
manner in which he had done it. The language Mr.Holyoake had employed through- 
out could not possibly give ofience to any one.' The rev. gentleman then, with great 
courtesy and in very accurate language — in the words of one thoroughly self- 
possessed and master of the subject — proceeded to bear his testimony to the inde- 
pendence of morality and religion, and the moral innocency of speculative opinions. 
He ended by asking me whether I would explain what amount of evidence would 
satisfy me as to the existence of God. I answered, as fully as I could impromptu, 
to such a question, ' any coherent scheme of probabilities, moral, physical, or tes- 
timentary.' The rev. gentleman said that he put questions with a view to learn 
what were the grounds on which I held my opinions, and he asked me a variety 
of questions, which I cannot now recall with accuracy. Most of them were brief 
and pertinent, and the necessity of answering instantly left me no time to record 

Thomas Johnson, Esq., solicitor and clerk to the magistrates, then rose, and 
put a series of questions, well conceived and well expressed, a few of which I have 
preserved. He attended, he said, in order to hear the new order of arguments by 
which they might be met in time to come by persons who adopted views similar to 
my own. One question he put thus : 

' Sir, you have admitted the existence of conscience ; what is conscience ? does 
it imply i-esponsibility, and to whom ?' 


I replied, 'conscience is a man's sense of duty, and it implies responsibility to 
himself, and to his fellows.' Another interrogatory was this : 

* The Scriptures exist, how do you account for them ?' 

T answered, ' how did I account for the Scriptures ? "Why I supposed them to have 
been written, and they appeared to me to have been written by honest, conscientious 
men.' Mr. Johnson replied: 

' As I admitted that the Scriptures were written by honest men, how did I ac- 
count for the records of miracles which they contained ? If such things never 
happened, how came honest men to record them ?' 

To this I replied, that ' I was not aware that honesty implied infallibility. 
"Were sincere men never mistaken ? Did every honest witness in a court of law 
always prove himself incapable of error ? Catholic miracles — the winking 
virgin of Rimini — had thousands of attestators whose honesty could not be ques- 
tioned, and whose word could not be believed.' 

Many other questions were put, and afterwards Mr. Read, a tradesman, as I 
was told, rose and said : 

' I had sought to prove the innocency of speculative opinion ; but were we 
morally innocent in endeavouring to counteract others' faith, if we have nothing 
better to put in its place ?' He then gave the case of a repentant Socialist, who 
had'become degraded by Socialism, and died deplorably. I had to tell this gentle- 
man, that if the death-bed was a test of true faith, the Protestant must give way to 
the Catholic religion, and Mahomedanism and Buddhism were truer than Christi- 
anity. If he would point out to me what principles of Socialism were calculated 
to demoralise a man, I would myself give them up. I explained to him what the 
principles of Socialism were, and he made no answer. Also I observed that he was 
mistaken respecting me ; I had better views to put in the place of those proposed 
to be removed. 

Mr. Thompson, a mason, then rose, and, with that painful and oppressive 
humility manifested by anxious and sincere Christians, asked whether he was not 
in the right to plead for religion he being a sincere Christian ? I assured him that 
he was perfectly right in doing as he did, so long as he thought as he appeared to 

It was past eleven before we concluded. While we were thus occupied, the 
meeting of the Bible Society was proceeding in the Music Hall. Of the various 
remarks made there about infidel writers and the spread of their opinions nothing 
was new, except the following episode, which I quote from the Lancaster Cfazette 
of May 24 :— 

The Rev. C. Campbell said — ' He had another reason [he had assigned a previous 
one] for attending their meeting. He felt that that night Lancaster was profaned ; 
and he dared not shrink from expressing from that platform the indignation the 
subject excited. He had no doubt the originator [the Rev. J. Fleming] now 
present on the platform, had seen his error, humbled himself before God, and 
regretted that he should have been the cause of that profanation. He hoped that 
evening that in Lancaster infidelity would be foiled alike with Popery in its attempts 
to tear the sun of righteousness from its meridian, or, what was the same thing, 
to cover with thick darkness the glory of the living God. He really did hope the 
originator, who no doubt had erred from the best of motives, was alive to the mis- 
chief he was likely to occasion, and that the evil which his indiscretion had 
inadvertently occasioned would by the blessing of God be averted.' This exquisite 
piece of impertinence was received with applause. 


The Rev. J. Fleming himself said—' The rev. deputation had told them that th® 
meetings of the society were this year better attended than ever, and rightly attri- 
buted it to the Papal aggression. The same cause, he believed, was acting on their 
meeting that night. Aye, and he thought they were also indebted somewhat to 
the great man in Max-ket-street. He was glad to see the apprehended evil work- 
ing thus to the increase of their meeting. He was glad to see Mr. Campbell there 
that night. His rev. friend (if he would permit him to call him so) was himself an 
illustration of the good efiFect upon their attendance, for he was one who came to 
their meeting entirely on account of the matter he was referring to. That he (Mr. 
Fleming) was the unwitting cause of the man being in the town he admitted. 
Some person must take the bull by the horns, and in the discharge of that duty he 
had made up his mind to endure a little goring. He was prepared for it ; but he 
had the satisfaction of knowing that the lectures he had delivered had been 
attended with good effect, for he had since conversed with persons formerly of in- 
fidel tendencies who were now convinced of their folly. His friend, Mr. Campbell, 
was not acquainted with all the complicated circumstances that had been at work to 
produce the result. What he (Mr. Fleming) said publicly was made the pre- 
text; and as to the responsibility, it might as well be said that Christ by his 
coming was responsible for all the persecutions his devoted followers endured. He 
had made up his mind to all this. They were not to be cast down by these little 
things. God's word must prevail. All the Popery and all the infidelity in the 
world would be but as chaff in the balance when compared with the effects to be 
produced by the diffusion of the Scriptures.' 

A strange way of ' taking the bull by the horns ' surely, to avoid Market Street 
where he was to be met, and advise all his followers to keep out of the way. 

Next day the public opinion in the town ran much against Mr. Fleming. It is 
due to the people of Lancaster to say, that they had healthier notions of fair play 
than their pastors. The influence of their comments on the proceedings of the 
night at the two meetings was not lost on my opponent, for, on the second night, 
notwithstanding his own advice to others to keep away, he came himself; and 
when I entered the meeting, I found a large audience present, including several 
ladies. That night I was received with as much cordiality as though I had stepped 
on a London platform. 

I began by stating that I had again found at the doors two tract distributors. I 
addressed the men engaged in that unfriendly work, for the tracts of that night 
were as abusive of infidels as on the preceding evening — representing them as 
drunkards, cruel husbands, blasphemers, and much else that is evil. Looking 
the older man closely in the face, I said — 

Why are you giving those tracts away ? The only answer I received was : 

He was ordered to do so. 

Where do you come from ? I inquired. 

He didn't know. 

You an intelligent man, fifty years of age, and pretend that you don't knov where 
you come from ? 

The Tract Society, he replied. 

What Tract Society ? The Tract Society who issue the tracts in your hands is 
in London. Have you been sent down from London ? 

He didn't know. 

Finding this pious tract distributor suffering from some confusion in his organ 


of veracity, I turned to his brother on the other side the passage, and I asked him 
who sent him there ? 

He did not know exactly. 

Well, tell me as exactly as you can, I said. 

The Tract Society, he replied. 

Who are the Tract Society ? You know who sent you here ? 

He didn't know that exactly. 

You must know the names of some of them. Name those you remember best. 

Well, the Rev. Mr. Fleming was one. 

When I came to this part the meeting grew much excited, and called out * shame, 
shame,' all around Mr. Fleming. I told that meeting, that as they were anxious 
to know what my objections to Christianity were, that there was one objection 
which I had to it which amounted to a prejudice, which was that it taught bad 
manners. Not even in the strife of the House of Commons, nor in the conflicts of 
civil parties, could any man indulge, without forfeiting his character as a gentle- 
man, in such language as was employed with applause in Christian controversy, 
and justified by Scriptural quotations. G. J. Holyoake. 

[To be continued.] 


Christian writers frequently bring, as a damning and conclusive charge, suffi- 
cient of itself to consign Mahometanism to the contempt of refined and civilised 
nations, that the description in the Koran of the Paradise prepared for faithful 
believers presents a series of enjoyments of the most sensual and material nature. 
Now the descriptions of Hell in the New Testament are all essentially material, 
and the Catholic Church gives her sanction to the most horrible pictorial repre- 
sentations of infernal torments according to Scripture, for the terror and edifica- 
tion of children and persons unable to read. But most Protestants would complain 
bitterly of being calumniated if they were accused of approving or tolerating such 
coarse intimidation. Protestant theologians shrink from a bold and explicit 
exposure of their own doctrines, and seek to shroud them in vague, general, and 
mysterious terms, or obscure metaphorical language. They cannot deny a be- 
lief in the hell-punishments mentioned by Jesus, who describes the rich glutton 
opening his eyes amidst the flames of hell, and begging in vain for a drop of water 
to cool his tongue ; who tells his disciples of the bottomless pit, the worm that 
dieth not, the tormenting devils, and the lake burning with fire and brimstone. 
Protestants cannot get rid of these definite and material images, but they avoid 
dwelling on the subject, and many of them teach that the Bible accounts of Hell 
are figurative, and signify the torments of conscience, and the absence from God, 
and the spirits of the just made perfect. 

But, indeed, if we examine the accounts of Heaven contained in the Christian 
Scriptures, we shall find them also to be essentially material, and, unless figuratively 
explained away, not at all superior in dignity, speciousness, or grandeur to any of the 
ancient mythological or poetical descriptions. The Scriptural heaven, with its vulgar 
machinery of lightning, thrones, incense, and flying angels, is a fit counterpart to 
the Scriptural hell, with its brimstone lakes, devils, and gnashing of teeth; and 
both equally require the unlimited acquiescence of modern Protestant believers 
in an uninquiring and indefinite supposition of metaphor and mystery : if taken 
in a literal sense they would be too absurd for any man of education, however 


pious. In a literal sense, what could the modern Christian think of the being 
seated on a throne in Heaven, who is ' to look upon like unto a jasper and a sardine 
stone,' and who is worshipped 'day and night' by twenty-four elders, and four 
beasts of diverse and grotesque appearance, and ' full of eyes before and behind ' 
(Revelations, c. iv., v, 6). The modern Christian looks with most supreme con- 
tempt and pity on the Hindoo, whose God is symbolically represented with three 
heads and eight arms, and overlooks the fact that the Bible declares God to be 
worshipped in Heaven under the form of a lamb, ' as it had been slain,' with seven 
horns and seven eyes, and that on one occasion their God descended to the earth 
in the bodily shape of a dove I Without a liberal use of mystery and metaphor, 
the modern Protestant theologian could not make a plausible show of reply to the 
doubts and difficulties of his pupils. 

Now, on the part of Mahometauism, it must be said that a considerable sect, 
the Sufis, consisting of the most learned and devout men of that religion, explain 
all the sensual pleasures of their promised Paradise in a figurative sense, as signi- 
fying angelic and spiritual enjoyments. They deal with the Houris just as Pro- 
testants deal with the brimstone lakes, the celestial beasts, and the ' back parts' of 
Jehovah. And surely no Christian can cavil at such an explanatory process, no 
Christian can find fault with the use of such imagery to describe the bliss of 
Heaven, when he himself believes that Solomon was inspired by God to delineate 
the love of Christ for his Church, and other divine mysteries, under the gross and 
sensual raptures of a lascivious epithalamium. The Sufis also regard as religious 
allegories the amorous and convivial lyrics of the celebrated Persian poet, Hafiz, 
who was a member of their sect, and whom they venerate almost as an inspired 
writer. For every word and phrase in his songs they discover an appropriate 
religious interpretation, just as pious Christian commentators find a mystical 
significance in the warmest passages of the Song of Solomon. 

When the Mahometans require a Ueformation they will have it. They must 
pass through this stage, as European Christian nations are now passing. Increased j 
knowledge and better taste will cause the most revolting and immoral tenets of the 
Koran to be modified, softened down, and explained away, in the same way that 
Protestants have treated various doctrines and conclusions that may be legitimately 
drawn from a literal interpretation of the Bible. Undecimus. 


In connection with the arrangements for the Censtis recently taken, blank forms \ 
were issued to the churchwardens for the purpose of obtaining certain information j 
concerning their respective churches. The return for a church near Hereford is | 
said to have been filled up as follows: — To the question, 'How or by whom j 
erected ?' the answer was, ' I do not know.' ' When consecrated ?' ' God knows.' 
' Under what circumstance the license granted ?' ' Nobody knows.' A column 
was left in the schedule for 'remarks,' and the communicative warden took advan- 
tage of the opportunity to enlighten the Home Secretary with the following ex- 
pression of his opinion : — ' There is in this parish about £500 per annum paid in 
all ways from the occupiers of land to this church, and I have known the whole of 
the duty done for £35 per annum. We hare only one service on a Sunday, and 
the parish very seldom visited by a clergyman. We have to thank the Dissenters 
for what little education the poor receive. In my opinion we want a radical reform 
in the church.' We would beg to suggest that the reform wanted is in the applica- 
tion of the funds thus supplied, which should he given tor the support of a good 
secular school for the poor children of the parish. A, 


©ur platform. 

From which any earnest opponent may controvert our opinions, and from which any may expound views 
not coincident with our own, if tending to the Rationalisation of Theolegv. 


To the Editor of the Reasoner. 

SiE, — I have read with much pleasure the suggestions contained in your letter to 
Mr. Trevelyan, printed in a recent number of the -Reason«r, concerning the estab- 
lishment of a publishing house in London, with an extensile agency in the 
provinces ; and it appears to me highly desirable that they should be carried out 
as soon as practicable. 

From the observations I have been enabled to make, I believe that no publication 
devoted to the advocacy of Freethought will be able to defray its expenses by the 
mere produce of its sale, while the present system continues. The circulation of 
such, from a variety of causes, is impeded even among the class whose opinions it 

Beyond the circle of Freethinkers, a periodical of such descriptipn can hope for 
no support worth any consideration. The opponents of free-inquiry stigmatise its 
organs as advocating immorality, and would think their doom sealed were they to 
suffer a sixpence of their money to support them. Some do this through bigotry, 
and others through ignorance. But they are both equally prejudicial. It is true, 
exceptions relieve this dreary void ; but they are few and far between. 

A correspondent of yours, a short time since, remarked that the rich freethinkers 
in Liverpool debar themselves from supporting such publications as the Reasojier 
although they concur in its principles, from the fear of braving the opinion of the 
world. This disease of fear prevails in a very extensive degree, not only in 
Liverpool, but all England. I say disease, for this fear is carried too far. I con- 
sider that the real cause of this complaint is often indifference. Certainly they 
might support their friends without posting hand-bills concerning their creed. 

The destruction of this prejudice of the ' world ' would be a great object attained. 
Many freethinkers view with comparative indifference the increasing freedom of 
language employed by the Press in treating of holy things ; but that levity must in 
time remove this great obstacle. Let us obtain only toleration, and conviction to 
the tolerators will soon follow. 

There are many whose fortunes are under the control of others, a withdrawal of 
whose patronage would be the sure effect of an expression of scepticism. These 
are placed in a worse condition than their opulent brothers, who would not achieve 
their utter ruin by open unbelief. 

But even among freethinkers willing to support them, the circulation of their 
journals is hindered. The newsvendors in large towns display Christian periodicals 
in their windows and at the doors, but deny to the Reasoner and its brethren a 
similar exhibition. Some go further, and refuse to supply it — though I believe 
these are few. Many agents, who would otherwise deal impartially, are prevented 
from so doing by the menaces of rev. gentlemen, whose countenances, as they 
know by bitter experience, do not always beam with that benignity which they 
contrive to display when they sit for- their portraits. Therefore, many sceptics 
are ignorant of the existence of their journals, and consequently, if they would, 
they cannot support them. 

In villages the case is worse. The newsvendor, for there is seldom but one, 


is generally one of the softer sex, and very often a teacher in a Sunday school, or 
at least connected with one. The numerous periodicals which figure in the list 
in the ' Directory' with the prefix ' Christian ' or ' Gospel,' that worthy vends by 
dozens ; but a freethinldng publication is prohibited. Indeed, an application for 
a copy would give rise to an exhortation, duly seasoned with diablerie ; and then 
the minister, who is the cazique of the place, would take up the matter : and thus 
the freethinker, if he wishes to avoid ruin, must stifle his opinions and play the 
hypocrite. Obtaining the periodical there is quite impossible. 

There are few who abuse the Jesuitical policy of penetrating into the bosom of 
families, who know how far the same thing is done by other priests, both estab- 
lished and dissenting. In relation to freethought their influence is most baneful; 
the unhappy sceptic has often to choose between the Gospel and being discarded 
by his priest-ridden relatives. 

The only instruments by which to remove these obstructions appear to be a 
general agency, and a partly-forced circulation by means ot distribution. The 
former will be of service to professed freethinkers, and the latter must, in a greater 
or less degree, cause conviction, or at least toleration. At present, however, it 
is evident that a publication of this class, solely dependent on its own resources, 
must incur a loss. H. I. U. 

[We readily insert this letter. In its observations we fully concur, as respects the 
groundless fear of many of our friends ; but we have reason to think better of the 
Newsvendors than our correspondent. — Ed.] 


The question of Education is becoming every day of greater importance. All are 
agreed as to the necessity of some measure for securing its blessings to the mass 
of the population. But while all are agreed as to its necessity, serious differences 
exist as to the mode in which this blessing is to be supplied. We have occupied 
a portion of our columns with a condensed report of a speech upon this subject, 
by Mr. Holyoake, of London, which was delivered to a numerous, if not select, 
audience of our townsmen. With regard to the speech in general, we confess we 
listened with considerable pleasure to the dispassionate way in which the gentle- 
man handled his subject. There was none of that violent, inflammatory declama- 
tion with which some itinerant orators are in the habit of regaling the public ear — 
no supplementary seasoning of the dish to tickle a dull or deadened appetite, but 
plain and rational statements, put forth in a clear manner and temperate tone. 
We were not a little pieased to find the high standard at which Mr. Holyoake 
wishes the national education to be placed. It is not too much Education we have 
to fear, but too little. The half-educated man, who remains contented with his 
modicum of learning, is, in general, a presumptuous, self-conceited pedant. Vain 
of the little smattering attained, he stands upon a slightly elevated platform, which, 
while it does not enable him to commune with loftier spirits, is sufficient to make 
him despise those above whom he has risen, but lying far, far indeed, below those 
high overshadowing terraces of Parnassus, which, could he attain them, would only 
serve to show him how many more elevations lay beyond these, and how little he 
knew of what may be known. We rejoice, therefore, to observe that the curricu- 
lum required by the advocates of Secular Education aims at something higher 
than the ordinary branches, which are, too often, as much as the means of 
the parents can afford. But here our admiration of the scheme must stop. 


There are other features in the case to which we cannot so readily grant our 
assent ; and the first will readily strike every Scotsman who has had the inestimable 
privilege of drinking in the sublime and simple truths of the New Testament 
with the earliest lessons of childhood — it is the purposed and total exclu- 
sion of the W»rd of God from the school. If * Combe's Constitution ' be a work 
fitted by its simplicity of style, and the grandeur of the truths it contains, to form 
a school-book (as we are informed it is) for the young ; surely we may be allowed 
to bring forward that humble book, the New Testament, on the same ground. 
Are its lessons of morality less hard to be understood or practised? Are its 
unadorned simplicity and pathos less calculated to arrest the young mind and 
enchain the attention ? Is there any precept contained in its pages which any 
one of these advocates of morality would venture to condemn ? In fine, viewing 
it merely as a school-book, we would ask, where is there to be found in all the wide 
literature, which claims no higher birth-place than the earth we tread, a book 
better fitted, by its simplicity of style, its earnestness of tone, and sound practical 
wisdom, for instructing the young, and training them in the path which will most 
conduce to their happiness as men, and members of society ? The Bible has other 
and higher claims to recommend it as the best book to be placed in the hands of the 
young — even the recommendation that it is the truth of God; but we ask on 
merely moral grounds, what can the advocates of unsectarian Education see in 
the Word of Life that they must banish it from the eyes of the young as a 
dangerous thing ? Is it not a thing of itself savouring of sectarianism, to exclude 
a book which the unanimous voice of every good and pious man, in times past, and 
in the present day, demands (in Scotland at least) to be taught as the very foun- 
dation of all'other instruction ? The party who are opposed to this are a mere 
fraction, as every one knows ; and, thank God, the majority have not arrived at that 
pitch of refinement as to couat the Scriptures of Truth unfit food for the minds 
of their children. One word as to the objection brought forward by Mr. Holyoake 
and his coadjutors. ' Familiarity,' they say, ' breeds contempt.' ' The name of 
God, by being made a task word, becomes disagreeable to the minds of the young.' 
Such reasoning, in application to some subjects, bears a show of plausibility upon 
it; but a moment's reflection will show the daring assumption that is here made. 
Where amongst the many thousands of our population that rejoice at this day in 
the light of the truth, could one be found who is not free to acknowledge to that 
his purest, holiest, and most ardent feelings of devotion were enkindled with that 
name which, taught in infancy to respect, with a confident, yet holy and awful 
reverence, is yet the name most sacred and venerated in his heart ? The name of 
the Almighty author of our bodies, and the Father of our spirits — with reverence 
be it spoken — cannot become too familiar. It may be drawn in with the milk 
of infancy, and it may be taught at home and a-field, and why not also in the school 
with all propriety and decorum ? And where else, but at school, are those be- 
nighted creatures to learn the truth, who are deprived by death of a parent's 
care, or are as effectually kept in ignorance of all that is sacred by their igno- 
rance or incapacity. The name of Him who sent his Son to save us, we repeat, 
cannot be too early graven on the hearts of the young. As well talk of the fami- 
liarity of the light of the sun ' breeding contempt,' or the common air which is 
necessary to support animal life, becoming despised on account of our familiar ac- 
quaintance with it ! This much we would demand, that the Bible be one of the 
books read in schools, so that those (and their name is legion) who wish their 
children to be there instructed in the divine word may not be disappointed for 


the sake of the fe^r who really care not whether the Bible be read at all, either at 
school or elsewhere. It is only fair play that the opportunity may be placed in 
their way ; and as for that same insignificant section of objectors, we see no reason 
they have to complain if the Bible is taught in the school where their children are. 
Let them send word that they do not wish their children to join the Bible class, 
for fear of contamination ! in the same way as they would signify their desire that 
they should not learn Latin or any other branch, and we undertake to say the case, 
though rare, will receive the favourable consideration of the schoolmaster — he 
will certainly not force his scholars to learn anything, however desirable, against 
the wishes of the parents. 

"We thus express our conviction that the Bible, as a historical and a moral book, 
should be placed in the reach of all, and as a religious book it ought to be placed 
within the reach of that numerous body of Scottish people who demand it to be 
tau»ht their children. It will be understood that we speak of reading the Bible 
without note or comment, except in so far as may be necessary for the elucidation 
of the subject. Any attempt at drawing sectarian deductions, or party doctrines 
from the pure word, we would reject and condemn ; and conscious we are, that the 
great bulk (shall we not say, the entire parochial body of our schoolmasters ; and 
we trust of other sects ?) are far removed, indeed, from any such paltry and injudi- 
cious attempts to propagate a peculiar creed. The school may be, and we trust 
often is, the place where the good seed of the world is stored up in the heart, but 
we never heard of any one who had formed his religious creed from his teacher. 
That is the work of a maturer judgment and riper years. The attendance at our 
parochial schools, where the Bible is taught — composed often of every sect and 
denomination — goes far to prove the little danger which our population apprehend 
on this ground. — Border Advertiser, May 23, 1851. 

[The lecture referred to was quoted in the Leader of May 31. The subject being 
Educational, is not relevant here — but the comments of the editor above given 
relate to topics we professedly debate in these columns. We must tell the editor 
of the Border Advertiser that he is not acquainted with the objections we could 
bring against the Bible, but we will not embarrass the great question of public 
Instruction by arguing the matter in connection with such a subject. We stand 
purely on the ground of conscience, and we ought not to be called upon to justify 
that conscience any more than any religious body that differs from the Church of 
England. It is enough that we do in our conscience object to the use of the Bible 
in the instruction of our children, and we claim that.our conscience shall be res- 
pected (in this case) without discussion or imputation. — Ed.] 

^_^ a — . ..• 


The Wesleyan Times gives the following statistics respecting the decline of 
Methodism :— The decrease in Halifax and Bradford is 3,514 ; SheflBeld, 4,846; 
Manchester, 1,829; Liverpool, 1,098; Northampton, 631; Birmingham, 2,500; 
London, 4,848; Macclesfield, 440; Norwich, 4,096; York, 1,617; Leeds, 5,694; 
Newcastle, 3,360. Total decrease, 34,723. 

These returns are from twelve districts, and show a falling off of Wesleyan 
disciples of nearly 35,000, The aforesaid paper remarks : — ' When the returns 
from the remaining twenty districts come to hand, we suspect they will show a net 
decrease of about 50,000 !' What can have induced such a large retrogression 



amongst a class of such nose-led religionists ? Internal dissension has done much, 
but reason also may have been at work, and convinced many of them that the ex- 
perience-telling class-meeting is but another name for the confessional; and there- 
fore they fly from the precincts of the Wesleyan denomination. I have cause to 
believe that our labours have not been without effect in reclaiming many from the 
narrow path of sectarianism to the broad field of principle. It is precisely in those 
towns where our labours have been most active that the greatest falling off is 
observable. If other sects were to publish how many of their sheep have left the 
fold, we should find cause of encouragement. J. 


These operations have often won in a day for the operator more than years of 
unobtrusive labour could have gained. Mr. Skey, in the last Hunterian oration, 
dwells upon this subject, contending, if we are rightly informed, that the knife 
should be the very last resort of the honest and intelligent surgeon. He limits 
the use of the knife ' operations of expediency ' — operations, that is to say, ' which 
are undertaken for the purpose of curing deformity, by the removal or division 
of sound parts, or of painless diseases, which do no t exceed inconvenience. 

meaSfluer pwjiasauiJa. 

To promote the efficiency of the Reasoner as an organ of Propagandism, one Friend subscribes 10s. 
weekly, another Ss., one 2s. monthly, others Is. each weekly-and so on according to ability and ear- 
nestness. An annual contribution of 1 s. from each reader would be easy, equitable, and sufficient. What 
is remitted, in whatever proportion, is acknowledged here and accounted lor at the end of the Volume. 

To the previous acknowledgments for Vol. X. we have to add 278s. from J. 
W., making a total of 1950s., which concludes the list for Vol. X. Next week we 
shall give the subscriptions towards the new volume. 


Literary Institution, John Street, Fitzroy Square. 
June 15th [7i], Ernest Jones, ' Labour, Capital, 

Hall of Science, City Road. — June 15th [7i], 
Thomas Shorter, ' Approaching Anniversary of the 
Battle of Waterloo.' 

Institute of Progress, 10a, Upper George-street, 
Sloane-square. — June 13th [8], a Discussion. 15th, 
[7J], a lecture. 

National Hal], 242, High Holborn.— June 15th 
[8], P. W. Perfitt, 'Early Reformers in Italy.' 

Eclectic Institute, Denmark Street, Soho. — 
Every Friday [8^], Mr. J. B. O'Brien, ' Home and 
Foreign Politics.' Every Sunday [7^], on ' Moral 
and Social Science.' 

Areopagus Coffee and Reading Room, 59, Church 
Lane, Whitechapel. — Every Sunday, Monday, and 
Wednesday (8), a Lecture or Discussion. 

City Forum Coffee House, 6o, Red Cross Street. 
— Every Sunday, Monday, and Thursday [8J], a 


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The select committee appointed on Ecclesiastical Courts have just issued their 
report, from which the following are extracts : — The Registrar of the Consistorial 
Court of Bristol resides in Lincolnshire, and receives a fixed payment from the 
deputy- registrar, in lieu of any part of the fees, of £200 per annum ; last year this 
was reduced to £160. The joint deputy-registrars are solicitors and proctors, and 
exercise the exclusive right of transacting all the common-form business in the 
office. They estimate the average net emoluments of their joint office at £444. 
The judge's average annual receipts for the last three years were £126. Their 
business, as solicitors and deputy- registrars, is conducted altogether; and they 
make no distinction in their table of charges for common-form business, to parties 
in the court, between what is due to them as officers of the court, and their pro- 
fessional charges as proctors. The duties of the registrar of the Consistorial 
Court of Bath and "Wells are performed by a deputy, the principal registrar being 
one of the metropolitan police magistrates, and receiving a net annual payment 
out of the fees of £400. The deputy's net receipts in 1847 were £810 ; in 1848 and 
1849 they averaged £471. The greater amount in 1847 arose from additional fees 
in that year, consequent upon an inhibition of the Archdeacon's Court. The fees 
of the judge, who is stated to have sat in court once or twice, produce him an 
average net income of £166, besides £30 a year paid to his deputy, who acts as 
judge of the court, and is the father of the deputy-registrar. The deputy- 
registrar is also registrar or deputy-registrar of twenty-four peculiar courts ; in 
respect of business in them the same charges are made as in the consistorial court. 
In the Decanal Court the principal registrar is a lady, who, the deputy believes, 
was appointed to the office when she was five years old. In the Archdeacon's 
Court the principal registrar, who receives £100 a year, and does none of the 
registrar's work, is a clergyman residing in another diocese, and is alleged not to 
be qualified to act as registrar. 

Copies of the Reasoner were forwarded to Dr. Kerns, of Sheffield — one with the 
leading article entitled 'The Sheffield Lectures and Dr. Kerns,' and the other 
with the reply to the letter of Dr. Kerns. The Rev. Doctor has been at length 
aroused to do something in the shape of an * Address to the Freethinkers of 
Sheffield,' &c. The following appeared in the Sheffield Free Press of Saturday, 
May 17: — 'Dr. Kerns has favoured us with a long letter, addressed to "The 
Freethinkers of Sheffield and Mr. George Jacob Holyoake," which we must decline 
inserting on several grounds. The first objection we have is Dr. Kerns' own 
admission, that he took no notice of Mr. Holyoake's letter in the Free Press, and 
it was only on that letter, with some further remarks, being reprinted in the 
Reasoner, that the reverend gentleman felt disposed to reply to them. Such being 
the case, we would suggest that Dr. Kerns furnish his reply to the Reasoner, for 
which purpose we will return his MS. The second reason why we decline to pub- 
lish the letter is on account of its ffreat length. Besides this, we think a newspaper 
is scarcely the proper medium for a controversy of this nature. If we inserted 
the remarks of Dr. Kerns on Mr. Holyoake, we must in justice open our columns 
to the latter party for a reply. We are informed that Mr. Holyoake has greatly 
injured the cause of Christianity in this town already ; and a controversy (after 
the great want of moral courage manifested by the ministers of religion in this 
town, in declining to meet that gentleman when he was in Sheffield), would, we 
believe, still further extend the injurious principles Mr. Holyoake advocates. In 
fact, the freethinkers boast that no minister or individual representing any reli- 
gious body dare meet Mr. Holyoake ; and to attack him now in the columns of our 
paper, in place of meeting him when in Sheffield, would only tend to strengthen 
that opinion.' 

London ; Printed by Holyoake Brothers, 3, Queen's Head Passage, Paternoster-row ; and Published 
by J. Watson, 3, Queen's Head Passage, Paternoster-row. — Wednesday, June 11th, 1861. 


They who believe that they have Truth ask no favour, save that of being heard: they dare the 
judgment of Mankind : refused Co-operation, they invoke Opposition, for Opposition is their 
Opportunity. — Editor. 


"When my lecture was over on the moral objections to Christianity, Mr. Fleming 
and the Rev. Mr. Hereford both rose ; but Mr. Hereford gave way to Mr. Fleming. 
Mr. Fleming declined controversy, and professed that all he should do would be 
to ask me questions as to my opinions; and this he did in a tone so opposite from 
that of every other gentleman who had spoken, that the meeting was as sensible as 
I was of the difference. Questions conceived so as to entrap were put in the spirit 
of one seeking a triumph rather than the truth. The aversion which by this time 
I had conceived towards this gentleman was so great, that it cost me quite a 
struggle to enter into controversy with him, and I who had gone so many miles to 
meet him would have gone as far to have avoided him could I have reconciled it 
with my duty. But subsequently this feeling passed away, as the reader will find. 
Before answering him, I told Mr. Fleming that I expected he would have prefaced 
his first speech by an apology for the course (under erroneous impression, I was 
willing to believe) which he had taken in reference to me, especially in his letter 
in the Lancaster Guardian. Instead of doing so, he affected lo be the outraged 
person himself, and much more of the same kind not now worth recording. I 
restricted myself then to telling Mr. Fleming, that I should not ask him twice if 
his own feelings as a gentleman did not dictate to him the amende he should make. 
The Rev, Mr. Hereford said the entertainment of a personal question was incom- 
patible with the solemn subject to be considered. But it seemed to me that Mr. 
Hereford overlooked that the appropriate prelude to approaching a solemn 
subject, is to make clean our hands. The temper of justice is the basis of all 
healthy awe. 

During my lecture I had occasion to say, that the death of Christ as an expiation, 
called the central fact of the Christian system, was to me an appalling circum- 
stance to contemplate. In noticing this remark, Mr. Fleming said twice, ' we had 
that night heard a great deal of the bloody cruelty of GodJ When he repeated this 
the second time, I rose and said, ' I thought my reverend opponent was labouring 
under some misapprehension. I believed that we had not heard that coarse, and, 
as many would regard it, painful phrase from any lips but his own ; and I must 
protest against its being put into my mouth by its repetition as though I had used 
it.' Mr. Fleming did not repeat it again. Overlooking an important distinction 
I laboriously kept before the audience, Mr. Fleming emphatically asserted that I 
denounced all authority — whereas my argument went only to substitute the 
authority of reason for the authority of names and faith. 

He also introduced, in refutation of my argument, an extraordinary parallel 
between the Queen and God ; so unique was it, that it excited the wonder of the 
orthodox no less than the wonder of the heterodox. 

[No. 364.] 


INo. S, Vol. XI.] 



Probably Mr. Fleming spoke an hour. He did not make speeches for me to 
reply to, but put to me questions of examination and cross examination. I sub- 
mitted to every form of interrogation, and answered point by point in any way de- 
sired of me. Had I had anything to conceal, that mode of procedure would have 
taken advantage of me. But I did not object to it. I did not even ask myself 
whether it was fair or not. I regarded it as good exercise for a young debater, 
who ought to be equal to every emergency and every form of attack. 

The impression produced by this night's debate is best shown in the following 
letter, which appeared the next afternoon in the Lancaster Guardian, entitled — 


Mr. Editor, — I have no wish, could you afford me the opportunity, of intruding 
on your columns the arguments in favour of Christianity in comparison with 
those advanced by the advocates of infidelity; but, with your permission, I would 
advert as briefly as I can to matters of a personal nature arising out of the con- 
troversy on this important subject. I am only speaking the sentiments of 
numbers of persons, all of whom with myself dissent in toto from the peculiar tenets 
of Mr. Holyoake — all of whom, however, are the advocates of unshackled inquiry 
— when I inform Mr. Fleming, through your instrumentality, that the manner in 
which he has thought fit to treat a gentleman, whose courtesy and fairness are 
unequalled, whose truthfulness and honesty of opinion no man can impeach, whose 
moral character is untainted — has not been such as to reflect credit on himself as 
a gentleman and a minister of the gospel, but has rather tended to the disparage- 
ment of those glorious doctrines of which he is a public exponent. 

I do not quarrel with Mr. Fleming for one moment, as I understand a rev. 
gentleman, of a somewhat pugnacious mood, thought fitfto do at the Bible meeting, 
for introducing to the audience assembled in the Odd-fellows' Hall, the evidences 
of the truth of Christianity in contrast with those of a contrary belief. 1 believe 
that the Christianity of the New Testament will be more appreciated if it is better 
known, I believe that Christianity will bear the inquiry of reason, and that no- 
thing is more repulsive to its teaching than that it should be enfolded in an air of 
mystery which it is blasphemous to disclose, or that it should attach to it votaries 
by the fears of a blind superstition. But I do quarrel with Mr. Fleming for in- 
voking a discussion which he either could not or does not feel inclined to sustain — 
that he has thereby exhibited a weakness which will tell strongly in favour of the 
cause which Mr. Holyoake advocates. 

Mr. Fleming's position is this. He addresses an audience on the subject of 
infidelity. He reprobates particular works, and holds up to public execration a 
particular production of Mr. Holyoake's, which he represents as having an 
'immoral' tendency, and he challenges any infidel to vindicate the authenticity of 
his opinions, and he will meet him, and prove the truth of all that he had stated. 
Who so competent to vindicate his own works as Mr. Holyoake himself? This 
gentleman, feeling himself aggrieved by the imputation of immorality, accepts the 
challenge. To this Mr. Fleming at first demurs — forgetting that Mr. Holyoake 
has a personal claim upon him, owing to the selection of his works as the objects of 
his attack— on the ground that his challenge was only intended for infidels present 
in that room ! He afterwards states that if Mr. Holyoake considers himself 
wronged, ' let him come to Lancaster and defend what he has written, in a series 
of lectures, and I will be prepared to reply to them.' 

This appears fair and honest and hon6urable. But how does Mr. Fleming 
' reply?' He does not attend the first lecture of Mr. Holyoake. At the second 


he does make his appearance, and instead of ' replying,' he states positively that 
he has no intention of replying in Mr. Holyoake's presence, that he merely wishes 
to obtain his opinions, and when he has left the town, when he is not present to 
correct any misapprehension or misconstruction, then will Mr. Fleming ' enjoy ' 
the ' opportunity ' which was offered to him on the evening of each lecture. 

Sir, I again repeat, that with Mr. Holyoake's doctrines I cannot concur. But 
1 recognise his right to perfect freedom of thought and speech. I recognise his 
claims to fair and honourable dealing, and particularly by those who claim as one 
of the golden principles of our Saviour, that glorious aspiration of charity and love 
— ' Do unto others as ye would they should do unto you.' 

A "Working Man. 

This letter could not have been written by a * working man,' in the sense of the 
writer being an artizan. Such a person would not have had influence enough to 
have prevailed on the editor to have inserted such a letter. It is proof that other 
persons must have been favourably impressed, so far as to vindicate my right to 
freedom of opinion and fair play. Certainly ray acknowledgments are due to the 
assumed ' Working Man,' and to the Guardian, for admitting his letter. 

On the third night Mr. Fleming appeared altogether a different person. His 
tone was kind and his language courteous, and I quite forgot all the unpleasant- 
nesses which had preceded. The interrogations were as incessant as on preceding 
nights. Among other things, Mr. Fleming said he ' did not intend to say that I 
was an immoral person. He had inquii-ed previously to my coming to Lancaster, 
and learned that my private character was satisfactory.' 

It appeared to me that Mr. Fleming modified some of the views he was under- 
stood to maintain. He took credit that neither himself nor the audience held the 
notions of eternal punishment I had described — which were the orthodox and 
evangelical doctrines. Of course I was glad to find that Mr. Fleming and the 
Christians of Lancaster were advanced somewhat near the Unitarian point of 
generous conception of the character of God. I pressed Mr. Fleming to explain 
his own views — to say distinctly whether he did or did not believe in eternal 
punishment. If he did, there was no value in his repudiation of my statements. 
If he did not, he admitted an important point that I was anxious to establish. 
Twice or thrice I pressed this question, but Mr, Fleming appeared always not to 
hear me, and never noticed my lequest nor explained his own creed on this in- 
teresting subject. Certainly Mr. Fleming on another point was honourably ex- 
plicit. He conceded the rightfulness of discussion — of freedom of opinion — my 
right to differ from the Christian — and I understood him to admit the moral 
innocency of dissent. The effect of these admissions was very striking on the 
audience : many seemed to breathe more freely than before. It is doubtless very 
sad that the spirit of a people should wait on a priest's Qoncessions, but that 
seemed to be the case in Lancaster. 

I should endeavour to recount more of the points Mr. Fleming raised, and some 
remarks I made in reply ; but I shall have an opportunity of printing Mr. Flem- 
ing's own report of the proceedings, and I would rather present his version than 
my own. Before concluding I told him that I should be ready, at his convenience, 
to enter into public discussion with him on the questions involved in my lectures 
and his. He answered, his duties were heavy, and as a Professor his time, I would 
allow, must be fully occupied; but either in the newspapers, or through a publica- 
tion, or by a pamphlet, he would examine my lectures. It was my part to offer 
him discussion, it was his to decline it, or adopt any mode of holding it that seemed 


sufficient or suitable to him — and the privilege of doing so I fully and unreservedly 
conceded to him. The reader will see from a notice next week that Mr. Fleming 
is fulfilling his promise in one of the ways he proposed. 

Mr. Johnson, on this night, inquired in what sense I used the word nature. I 
answered, in the sense of Paley and Coleridge, as an aggregate name for the sum 
of phenomena. The definition might have been larger, but — sufficient to the day 'is 
the evil thereof (?). Mr. Johnson replied : 

'Was the idea of nature, in the sense in which I used it, more simple, or was it 
not less instructive, than the idea of God — denoting so many attributes of moral 
excellence ?' The attributes he mentioned were seven in number : I have now lost 
their enumeration, I said that I thought Nature, with its observable attributes, 
was simpler than the metaphysical conception of Deity, with imaginary, at least 
abstract, ones. Mr. Johnson added some practical cases relative to personal piety, 
and put them in a devout spirit. The Rev, Mr. Hereford's questions related 
chiefly to free-will and its consequences, and all his suppositions as to my views 
were just. When Mr. Johnson explained an idea on this subject, he apologised 
for some incoherence in his statement, and said ' he put his case even more illogi- 
cally than the Rev. Mr. Hereford.' Mr. Hereford (who really had put the case 
better) here bowed very low at the compliment, and the pantomime was diverting, 
and the audience, who caught the allusion, shared in the spirit. Though I had to 
leave Lancaster at four the next morning, Mr. Johnson besought me, at a late hour, 
to prolocg the replies, to which I answered that I was quite agreeable to stay res- 
ponding till the train went. It was approaching twelve before the meeting sepa- 
rated. The discussion this night was as instructive to me as the spirit was 
pleasant in which the opponents conducted it. It was to me the most valuable 
night I remember to have spent on a platform. Before leaving the room, Mr. 
Hereford and Mr. Johnson, and some other gentlemen, came and shook hands in 
a friendly manner. 

The chief constable did us the honour to be an auditor on the second night, and 
to place four policemen in readiness to preserve the peace. To whom this cour- 
tesy was owing I know not, probably to Mr. Johnson; but I addressed a letter of 
acknowledgments to the head of the police. 

On the latter nights several ladies were present, and some distinguished mem- 
bers of Mr. Fleming's congregation. Mr. Fleming is a younger and a handsomer 
man, but in style of oratory resembles, as well as in darkness of complexion, the 
Rev. Robert Montgomery, the fashionable metropolitaa preacher, otherwise known 
as ' Satan Montgomery.' 

The Lancaster Gazette, whose fascinating leader on ' Infidel Lecturers and how to 
treat them ' has been quoted, had the following paragraph in its next number: — 
' The person to whom we had occasion to allude last week, as likely to visit the 
town in defence of infidel doctrines, has for three nights past lectured at one of our 
public-houses, and we are sorry to say the attendance has been very numerous. Of 
course many would go to " hear the fun," and come away affected neither one way 
nor the other; but it is to be feared thai,with others,seed has been sown which the com- 
mon enemy of mankind will in due time ripen to a harvest of never-ending sorro"^^.' 

The Guardian, always more courteous, the same week made this report : — * On 
the evenings of Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday last, Mr. George Jacob Holy- 
oake, the author of the " Logic of Death," an atheistical pamphlet, and editor of 
the Eeasoner periodical, delivered three lectures in the New Inn Concert Room, 
Market Street, in advocacy of his opinions. It will be remembered that the 



" Logic of Death " was introduced by the Rev. J. Fleming, in one of his lectures 
in the Odd-Fellows' Hall, and its arguments examined and criticised. Mr. Holy- 
oake, feeling aggrieved by some expression in one of the lectures, imputing to his 
work an " immoral" tendency, accepted a challenge to vindicate his writings and 
opinions. The subject of the first lecture was, "The case stated between atheism 
and theism, with a view to show the moral innocencyof speculative opinions, even 
the most extreme, if conscientiously held." The universe, according to Mr. Holy- 
oake's definition, is " material, self-existent, and eternal," governed by a collection 
of laws to which he gives the name of Nature. In the second lecture he attempted 
to show that the Christian code, as a system of morals, was defective. Yesterday 
evening he proposed to prove that " Catholicism was consistent Christianity, and 
the actual type of the churches around us, all of which alike excite personal distrust 
and public alarm." At the close of each lecture some discussion arose, any one in 
the room being at liberty to propose any question to the speaker. On Thursday 
evening Mr. Fleming attended the lecture, and questioned Mr. H., with a view of 
eliciting his opinions, ia order that he might reply to them " at the proper time.'' 
The audiences on each evening were very numerous. Though we do not believe 
that Mr. Holyoake will have added a single convert to the roll of atheism, his 
courtesy of demeanour and the sincerity and honesty with which he avows his 
opinions, entitled and secured to him a dispassionate hearing.' 

Each night I was the solitary occupant of the orchestra. I had no one to pre- 
side. I was my own chairman, and I was lecturer, respondent , and master of 
ceremonies in general, from first to last. On the Sunday following prayers were 
put up for me in several places in Lancaster. Mr. Fleming directed the Sunday 
school to pray for me. The prayer he ofifered up was to the efifect that the Lord 
had done good in causing me to come to Lancaster. It had been the means of 
showing the people how men may be led away by following reason instead of the 
true light of faith. It appears that some surprise has been felt that I should have 
had audiences so large on the three last meeting nights of the week, and at three- 
pence admission. My reason for this choice was, that in an uncertain town I 
neither wanted to meet a crowd nor a rabble, as the rude are often sent to our 
open meetings, and when they incite disturbance the responsibility is shifted from 
the real authors. Respectable people have character to maintain, and do not com- 
mit themselves personally. The crowning drollery is that a meeting has since 
been announced in Lancaster by the crier, who was instructed to end his oration 
with these words — ' You paid threepence to hear an unbeliever ; come and hear a 
believer for nothing !' I have not been apprised of the effect of this superb appeal 
— it ought to have proved irresistible. G. J. Holyoake. 


We were delighted to receive a letter informing us that Mr. Cooper has passed from Belfast to Glas- 
gow. We should like to know what our Irish friends thought of him, who is a species of Meagher of 
progress. This is Mr. Cooper's first visit to Scotland, with which we hope he will have reason to be as 
pleased as he deserves to be. Incomparably the most attractive of all our metropolitan lecturers, critical 
Scotland will be curious to hear him who has lent lustre to Chartism, interest to Socialism, and power 
to freedom of opinion. Dsre devil Wallace, brave old Knox, gallant Robert Burns, and sly old Geordie 
Buchanan, have often been his eloquent themes ; and now the author of the ' Purgatory of Suicides ' is 
himself in the land of heroes, poetry, and poets. This, I know from recent inquiries made of me while 
in Scotland, our friends will be glad to learn. The towns desiring Mr. Cooper's presence should com- 
municate at once with him, at Mr. Charles Clarke's, 152, Buccleugh Street, Glasgow, where he will be 
before this notice is read in Scotland. G- J- H. 


(Syaminatiaix af tlft l^rtgt. 

Saint Robert Burns. — Nobody binds np the Assembly's Catechism, longer or 
shorter, with ' Murray's Grammar ' interleaved in the same volume. The fallacy 
in argument is a fiction in fact. Another point was the alleged success of the old 
Kirk in the management of the parochial schools. To illustrate this. Sir R. Inglis, 
in the House of Commons, enumerated a host of eminent men who had been 
trained in them, and ascribed to that management the high character in which 
Scotch education was held for above a century. He named Robert Burns ! He 
did not allude to the ' Holy Fair,' nor recite the ' Prayer of Holy Willie.' No 
reminiscences of the bard's unceremonious treatment of Mother Kirk and her 
' unco guid ' sons, chequered the imperturbable brass of the bigot Baronet. * Ran- 
tin Robin,' for the first time in his history, was made to shine as a jewel in the 
saintly crown of the Scotch Kirk. This will be rare news for the Presbytery of 
Ayr. And then, it may be asked, what was the state of the Kirk during the 
period that the worth of its schools was attested by the appearance of so many 
illustrious men, poets, historians, metaphysicians, economists, and politicians ? 
Why, it was the heretical era of the Kirk. It was the age of latitudinarianism. It 
was the time of ' new light,' when so many of its preachers told the suspicion ' that 
three's one and twa,' whatever the Confession may say to the contrary. It was 
the season when scepticism and infidelity were rife in Scotland, and held their 
court in Edinburgh. Was the school then far behind the Kirk, or the Dominie 
much sounder than the Minister ? Besides, that great fact, the Free Church, is 
fatal to the claims of the Established Clergy to school dominion. They are no 
longer the people's clergy. Children cannot be allowed to remain under their rod 
when adults have broken their bonds. — Puhlicola, in Weekly Dispatch, June 7, 1851. 

The Mysterious Rapping. — The Buffalo Courier, in an article upon the 
Rochester knockings, publishes the following, and vouches for its truth : — * A 
young man called, a day or two since, upon the ladies in whose keeping are the 
Rochester spirits. His bearing was sad, and his voice was tremulous with 
emotion. Sorrow was in his countenance, and a weed was on his hat. He sighed 
as he took a seat, and the by-standers pitied him as they saw him draw forth a 
spotless handkerchief and wipe away a tear that gathered in his eye. After a few 
moments of silence he took one of the ladies aside, and requested, if consistent, to 
be put in communication with the spiritual essence of his mother, and here he 
wiped his eyes rapidly, and sobbed. A period of quiet elapsed, and a knock was 
heard, signifying that the desired correspondence could be had, and with a hesitat- 
ing voice the young man commenced questioning the invisible one. ' How long 
had I gone before you died ?' A length of time was stated. — ' Where are you now, 
mother ? Are you happy ?' The knocking indicated that the spirit was at rest. — 
' Are those of your friends who have gone before with you ?' — ' They are/ said the 
knocking. — 'Then you can recognise them perfectly?' — The noise certified the 
affirmative. — 'Can you see me at all times when you wish ?' — The raps proclaimed 
the perpetual clearness of the shaker's vision in tJiat respect. — The gentleman 
seemed relieved, and the spectators stood overwhelmed with wonder. Taking his 
hat, the mourner arose, thanking the ladies, and as he stood in the door quietly 
remarked — ' I have been very much entertained, as no doubt my mother herself 
will be, for I left her at home not half an hour since, basting a turkey for dinner !' 
— AthencEum, June 7, 1851. 



CJe \Bl}\XaSap'^it Cspe of 3acltflt0n, 




In 184*7 a volume was published by Chap- 
man, entitled ' The Soul, Her Sorrows and 
Her Aspirations.' The author was Francis 
William Newman, the brother of John 
Henry Newman, known now as ' Father 
Newman,' Father Newman represents the 
Catholic, Professor Newman, the author 
of the work here considered, represents the 
Rationalistic side of Religion. 

The Church of England seldom gives 
you the impression of being in earnest. Its 
hierarchv seems maintained for show. You 
must visit the ranks of Evangelism for the 
religion which has life. Mr. Newman 
seems to personify the evangelical aspect of 
piety. He has caught up the whole spirit 
of religion in its profoundest meaning, and 
passing it through the crucible of a culti- 
vated intellect and pure nature, he presents 
us with the phenomenon of religion made 
(as far as the present writer thinks it can 
be) moral and philosophic. 

The casual observer of religious sects 
must be aware of the variety of types extant. 
To speak of them with any justice or pre- 
cision, they must be distinguished into 
low, intermediate, and high. Mr. New- 
man represents the highest type. As I 
know very well that many people who pro- 
fess the lower forms of the Christian Faith, 
would not do so were they acquainted 
with a higher, delineated by the hand of 
one whose piety cannot be called in ques- 
tion, I have made here an abstract of Mr. 
Newman's views. And I shall thus be 
able to bring it under the notice of many 
Christians who never heard of Mr. New- 
man's work, and who could not buy it if they 
would, and (to tell the whole truth) would 
not buy it if they could, till some one has 
shown to them its safety. This book has in- 
struction also for my own friends, as will 
appear as 1 proceed ; but as I am anxious for 
the rationalisation of Christianity, I take 
an interest in all that approximates to what 
I think the truth, and hence I publish 
this review of a work, upon which I have 
spoken by choice in many parts of the 
country. If men cannot see as I see, I 
shall be glad for them to see as Mr. New- 
man sees. 

. Those who make it a rule to pass over 
the Preface of a book as not relating to it. 

will profit in this case by returning to the 
good old practice of reading it. Nowhere 
does Mr. Newman appear to write unless he 
has something to say, and whatever he 
sees well to say is worthy the reader's con- 
sideration. It is in the preface that Mr. 
Newman remarks, that ' a long period passed 
in the history of mankind when the Mo- 
rality of every great national system was 
supposed to depend entirely on the external 

authority which promulgated it; but 

in later stages of mental culture, the au- 
thoritative sanction which is superadded to 
moral precepts became valued, not as that 
which is essential to guarantee their truth 
to a cultivated moral nature, but as that 
which (like parental command) enforces 
action while the moral sense is in its in- 
fancy.' In this respect Mr. Newman 
agrees with Sir James Mackintosh, that 
morals are intrinsically independent. That 
theology may add a sanction to them, but 
does not create them. One great charm 
of Mr. Newman's book is its remarkable 
directness of language. Whether there 
are any subjects upon which the author 
would be reserved or mystical I know not, 
but it seems that he does not write on any 
subject upon which he does not choose to be 
explicit. Emerson is an Oracle often ad- 
mitting of a double interpretation, Carlyle 
is a riddle by the way-side, puzzling all 
passers by — but Newman discourses manly 
wisdom in simple and youthful language. 
It seems a light matter to say that each 
page is reliable. When Mr. Newman 
describes Fetishism, for instance, it is an 
addition to our knowledge which we can 
quote. The reader can trust it — and such 
an assurance is a boundless satisfaction to 
one who desires to learn as he reads. Of 
large historical knowledge, knowing the 
most important languages, able in mathe- 
matics, versed in practical sciences, quick 
to comprehend, and more than all conscien- 
tious to report, Mr. Newman fulfils all the 
requirements of the reader, who feels that 
what the author states he has verified, and 
that he speaks on matters of fact with the 
authority of nature. It is difficult for the 
well-favoured reader to estimate the value 
of such an author to the ill-favoured 
learner. The poor student belonging to 
the working classes, whose every day is 



engrossed beyond his strength in the battle 
for the supply of animal wants, and who is 
turned at night wearied (like a jaded horse 
into a barren field) to browse on the casu- 
alties of literature— the cheap periodicals ; 
so often got up without adequate means, 
and oftener without conscience; where 
that which is original is poor, and that 
which is borrowed is incorrect — inferior 
food, of which no quantity yields any 
strength ! To children of the people, 
to whom scholastic guidance is never 
vouchsafed, beguiled by a show of popular 
learning which seduces them and abandons 
them to mediocrity, such a book as this 
— profound in thought, affectionate in 
spirit, trusty in report, accurate in speech, 
— is an epoch in personal history, disci- 
plining the understanding, and giving a 
new tone to character. 

The modest object of this book is that 
of making contribution tow^ards a natural 
History of the Soul as the true basis of 
Theology. What may be accomplished in 
this direction in the way of scientific proof 
is not quite clear, but that this is the right 
way of procedure we have no doubt. The 
analysis of feeling, and of the presumptive 
evidence on the side of human estimate of 
Deity, has long appeared to me as the only 
ground on which the believer could ever win 
the ear of the world; and it was with curiosity 
I learned that the first part of this ground 
had been occupied by Mr. Newman. He 
has furnished an entirely new statement of 
Theology : a statement we know to be new 
because it presents an old subject without 
once reviving those sensations of which 
once-believers dread the repetition. It 
is the first religious book I have been able 
to read for years, and I have read it many 
times as an exercise, in order to thoroughly 
understand the highest case which has 
been presented on the religious side. 

I have looked into some modern books 
which have attained celebrity in pointing 
out the errors of popular Christianity, but 
they seemed to me not to differ from older 
ones except in amplification of former 
arguments. They were urged witM more 
decorousness than was formerly the case, 
because the subsidence of dangerous per- 
secution has left play for the manifestation 
of the gentlemanly tone, but there has 
been no more feeling than before in the 
efforts. The surgeon has removed the dis- 
eased part, or perhaps amputated the limb 
very cleverly, and taken his fee of public 
applause as a skilful operator, but he has 
displayed no personal sympathy with his 
patient. In Mr. Newman's case it is alto- 

gether different. He is a spiritual surgeon, 
and never forgets that his patient is his 
brother. You may feel pain under his 
hand, but you are persuaded his is the 
hand under which you will suffer least, 
and that his affection and intelligence will 
save you all he can.* He is the friend and 
never the opponent. He does not offend 
you by spiritual superciliousness. There 
is no tone of pride about him. There is 
no lie for the glory of God in him : he does 
not recognise that God can be glorified by 
any word of deceit. To disparage, to 
mortify, to obtain a victory over you, are 
pettinesses of controversy which he des- 
pises. He is never angry, petulant, or 
harsh. He never plays the priest — soft 
and gracious when his argument opens, 
menacing, imperious, and contemptuous 
when it closes, and is not accepted. His 
profound respect for others, for their sin- 
cerity and well meaning, is uninterrupted. 
Yet in all this gentleness there mingles no 
weakness. Every affectionate word is ani- 
mated by a masculine strength of will, and 
in this union of both qualities a great 
lesson in intellectual and moral discipline 
is afforded. No man, whether believer or 
atheist, can read this book without great 
improvement, unless he be very good in- 
deed, or entirely incapable of moral ap- 
preciation. » 

I do not suppose that the Christian world 
will be thankful for this book. They 
seldom discriminate their true friends.and, 
I think, never are grateful to them. To 
some sour effusion of evangelism which con- 
tradicts Christianity's capacity for charity 
— to some subtile treatise which confounds 
but does not convince, they would give an 
exuberant welcome ; but for a book like 
this, conceived in the highest genius of 
proselytism, which must command respect 
for the religious sentiment wherever it 
is read, they have had no word of thank- 
fulness.-f That which strikes me as the 
secret of its proselytising power is its 
wondrous candour. All other religious 
books which I have read seemed to me to 
be fencing with the reader. They never 
trust him or trust themselves. There 
is nothing out-spoken, frank, and chi- 
valrous : all seems to be cautious, giving 
one the idea there is something to con- 
ceal. Mr. Newman's book is marked by 

* First said in 1848: we are now in 
1851, and no other book has yet appeared 
bearing the same marks. 

t At least none have yet come under raj 



th« utter absence of this tone. Knowing 
that no earnest men are wholly in the 
wrong in matters of humanity, he does not 
fear to ad mit what is right on his opponent's 
side, which certainly does not indispose 
an opponent to admit what is right 
on his. He thus inspires you with confi- 
dence and respect, and this is the found- 
ation of all healthy concurrence. This 
predisposing element to uniformity Mr. 
Newman's book has above all others I have 
read. If one does not concur in it, it is 
because of the presence ot intellectual error 
— no prejudice stands between his reader 
and himself. Others, besides Christians, 
who study its ability, may learn of its 
wisdom of manner, in the written and oral 
advocacy of their views. 

No review of this book has come under 
my notice which at all conveys the spirit 
of it, and I much distrust my own power 
to supply what I feel to be wanting. All 
accounts of its daringness, of its strong 
rejection of so much to which the mass of be- 
lievers cling in indiscriminating adoration, 
constitute the framework of the book, with- 
out its life — indeed less than that, for such 
accounts are merely those of the clearing 
of the ground in order to occupy it by a 
new superstructure. And no adequate 
idea of the superstructure can be obtained 
except by reading the book. A perfect 
book is ever its own best reporter, and so it 
is in this case. A faint approximation is 
all I can promise. 


'All human knowledge, like human 
power, is bounded ; and it is then most 
accurate, when we can sharply draw the 
line which shows where ignorance begins ' 
(p. 1.) With this remark, so pregnant 
with purpose, Mr. Newman opens his in- 
quiry into what we know, that shall, when 
distinctly defined, justify a programme of 
religious belief. He accurately observes 
that ' It is a condition of human existence 
to be surrounded with but a moderately 
difiFused light, that instructs the understand- 
ing, and illimitable haziness that excites 
the imagination' (p. 1.) The foundation 
of Mr. Newman's system, he frankly per- 
mits us to perceive lies in the fact that this 
' obscurity ' without us, is calculated to 
call forth religious sentiments. ' The 
region of dimness is not wholly without 
relations to our moral state.' The great 
theological problem he proposes to solve 
was never so happily expressed before, viz., 
how ' to reconcile Passion, Prudence, Duty, 
Free Thought, and Reverence ' (p. 4.) 

In the relation of the child to the parent 
Mr. Newman sees the model of human life 
throughout its entire extent. In the ' lov- 
ing reverence, sure trust, and unreflecting 
joy, which a child may exercise towards a 
parent, whose wisdom and goodness appear 
to him illimitable,' Mr. Newman beholds 
' a source of moral perfection ' desirable 
for men ' whose understandings have 
opened wide enough to see that all human 
minds are limited, all human hearts shal- 
low, and that no object worthy of absolute 
reverence coraes within the reach of sense.' 
(p. 3.) It is this ' absolute object' which 
Mr. Newman seeks. In his search he 
takes for his guide a definition of the Soul, 
which is entitled to the rank of a discovery. 
He calles the ' Soul that side of our nature, 
by which we are in contact with the In- 
finite.' Religion he would seem to regard 
as the cultivation of this side of our nature, 
by bringing it into contact with an object 
of absolute perfection and goodness, which 
shall inspire us with aspirations after 
purity, and cheer us by rational hope. 
There is a freshness in all Mr, Newman's 
conceptions which, after the hard, acid, 
and incongruous theology of the pulpits, 
comes over the feelings like a charm. The 
fruits of this religion which he eliminates 
are, he tells us, ' Meekness, thankfulness, 
love, contentment, compassion, humility, 
patience, resignation, disinterestedness, 
purity, aspiration, devoutness' (p. 21.) 

By an analysis of human sentiments 
Mr. Newman delineates the ' Sense of the 
Infinite.' The processes are these : — 

1 Awe, that feeling with which darkness 
inspires us, of which we are sensible in a 
walk alone by night under thick trees, 
when a sense of the unknown pierces 
through and unmans all but innocence. 
The moral effect of Awe is a pervading 
sense of our littleness in the presence of 
immensity (p. 11.) 

2. Wonder, that feeling excited by the 
. sublime and astonishing scenes of Nature 
when Awe has somewhat subsided. Its 
moral attribute is an aspiration after fuller 
knowledge of that 'power, principle, or 
person, out of which all that we see has 
proceeded' (p. 13.) 

3 Admiration is the perception of na- 
tural Beauty, whose appropriate function 
is to call forth the heart into admiration 
and prepare it for love. As a glimpse of 
life beyond the grave, and a glance of the 
eye into the depths of space, are adapted to 
calm stormy passions, so a tranquil resting 
of the soul, on whatever form of beauty, 
tends to impart cheerfulness, elasticity of 



spirits, and mute thankfulness, towards — 
perhaps we know not whom (p. 19.) 

Mr. Newman's conception of the func- 
tions of these sentiments is as lofty as it is 
delicate. Awe, Wonder, Admiration, he 
regards as fitting man to discharge his 
duty in that perilous hour when Duty 
clashes with Interest. Enthusiasm, that 
passionate love for some idea, which what- 
ever form it may take, is capable of ani- 
mating man to every sacrifice of Self, Mr. 
Newman regards as the Life of Morality, 
and the one universal enthusiasm he thinks 
is that ' called out by a sense of the Infinite, 
wherein we feel Self to be swallowed up. 
All the generous side of human nature is 
nurtured and expanded by the contempla- 
tion of the Infinite ' (p. 26.) 

4. A ' Sense of Order ' Mr.Newman traces 
from the operations of nature. Order is 
the type of Unchangeableness, and ' the 
recognition of unchangeableness is the 
turning point and passage from barbarian 
to cultivated religion.' The perception of 
Universal Order involves the refutation of 
Polytheism. The One who is regarded as 
the Supreme (source of order) is considered 
to have ruled upon the same principles in 
every conceivable age, and here an idea 
of his Eternity comes in. At this point 
and after, a man's religion falls under the 
control of his understanding : henceforth 
contemplations and imaginations concern- 
ing the Infinite put on the coherent form 
of thought and Speculation. A new 
element has been admitted which will 
either dissolve all the rest, or by blending 
with them happily will give to the religion 
definiteness of form, consistency, and no- 
tions which can abide the criticism of 
acute incredulity (pp. 28-9.) 

5. Sense of Design. To those who fail 
to recognise an active Will in the universe, 
Mr. Newman addresses the consideration 
of design. Without antagonist argument 
or intrusion of human artifice, he takes 
things fresh from nature. Lungs are fitted 
to breathe and eyes to see, and in this Fit- 
ness he sees Design. ' No syllogism is 
pretended that proves that a lung was 
made to breathe, but we see it,' he says, 
' by what some call Common Sense, and 
some Intuition ' (p. 32.) And ' since the 
whole universe is pervaded by similar in- 
stances of fitnesses, not to see a Universal 
Mind in nature appears almost a brutal 
insensibility ; and if any one intelligently 
profess Atheism, the more acute he is, the 

more distinctly we perceive that he is de- 
ficient in the Religious Faculty. Possibly 
some day, by a new development of his 
character or by the contagion of sympathy, 
he may acquire Religious Insight ; but for 
the present we lament that he has it not, 
and hereby is cut off from the profoundest 
influences of humanity' (p. 33.) Holding 
that the Fitnesses which meet our view on 
all sides bring a reasonable proof that 
Design lies beneath them, Mr. Newman 
considers the doctrine of an intelligent 
Creator justified. Adding now the con- 
clusion drawn from the Order of the uni- 
verse, he avers that ' we have testimony 
adapted to the cultivated judgment that 
there is a Boundless Eternal Unchangeable 
Designing Mind, not without whom this 
system of things coheres : and this Mind 
is called God' (p. 34.) 

6. Sense of Goodness. The conception 
of the goodness of God Mr. Newman ar- 
rives at. ' God is too great to be moved by 
petty passions ; he cannot have pleasure in 
our misery.' We * attribute to him bound- 
lessness of every kind of which we can 
conceive,' and a pure, final, and consolatory 
idea of God's goodness Mr. Newman ex- 
presses in these words : — * All the possible 
perfectness of man's spirit must be a mere 
faint shadow of the divine perfection.' 

7. The sense of Wisdom differs from 
Goodness in this, that ' Goodness is seen in 
the choice of ends, Wisdom in the direction 
of the means.' The antagonist Divine 
wisdom has to overcome consists of the 
human will, which Mr. Newman regards 
as independent. 

8. The sense of Reverence is that which 
follows the discernment of a mighty and 
inscrutable Being in the Universe. Re- 
verence is the beginning of true religion. 
He who reverences God is a religious man, 
and whatever his other defects, is an ac- 
cepted worshipper. The source of re- 
verence Mr. Newman seems to place in the 
perception that the great power who pre- 
sides over Nature must needs possess Moral 
qualities similar to our own, though every 
way more perfect. It is this feature that 
raises what was Paganism into Rational 
Religion. In such a portraiture of God as 
this, so consonant to the moral sense, com- 
mending him to the affections by its sweet- 
ness and to the intellect by its purity, how 
gentle and yet how effectual is the refu- 
tation of the gloomy picture of the avenging 
Deity our popular theology preaches to us. 

(To be continued.) 



The discussion amongst the members of the Botchergate Working Men's Reading 
Room on the admissibility into their library of Paiue's ' Age of Reason,' and other 
anti-Christian books, appeal's to have stirred up a good deal of controversial 
animosity among the frequenters of that institution ; and the decision come to, 
last week, by a small majority, to accept Mr. Mounsey's offer of a plot of ground, 
on the condition that the books referred to shall be excluded, has not healed the 
breach, although it has for the present settled the dispute. Accordingly the dis- 
sentients were instrumental in engaging Mr. G. J. Holyoake, of London, editor of 
a sceptical publication called the Reasoner, to deliver a lecture upon the subject, 
on Tuesday, May 20th. The Athenaeum could not be obtained, and the long room 
of the Blue Bell Inn, Scotch Street, was therefore engaged for the purpose. The 
room was densely crowded, and the audience included several of the working classes 
who are not members of the reading room — the total number being probably 
about 300. Several were unable to get admission. The room, being imperfectly 
ventilated, even with the windows open, was insufferably hot, and redolent of what 
Jack Falstaff would have termed a villanous compound of bad smells. The in- 
terest evinced was intense, and the satisfaction expressed with the views pro- 
pounded by the lecturer unmistakeable. Mr. Hugh Campbell was called to the 
chair, and in a few brief observations introduced the lecturer. Mr. Holyoake is 
above the average stature — is spare and somewhat lanky in person, has a weak 
and rather squeaking voice, but, barring an occasional ' Haitch ' betraying Cock- 
ney birth,* speaks with correctness and fluency. His lecture consisted chiefly of 
general propositions asserting the right of freedom of thought and opinion, regard- 
less of everything but truth ; and these propositions he brought to bear on the 
particular question of the evening — though that was either overlaid with geue- 
ralities or glanced at incidentally. A newspaper is not the proper medium for 
such discussions, but as the lecture had immediate reference to one of the vexaice 
questiones now agitating the working classes of this city, it may not be improper 
to give a skeleton sketch of some of the salient points touched upon. 

Mr. Holyoake began by expressing his regret that by the refusal of the 
Athenaeum the audience had been forced into a small and inconvenient room 
especially as no moral or intellectual harm could come out of his lecture, wherever 
delivered. Christians, he said, laboured under the impression that all the outrage 
of feeling was on the side of the iundels; but he reminded them that much of 
what Christians believed and uttered was equally outrageous to their opponents. 
He claimed the right to think for himself. No man could relieve him of his re- 
sponsibility to God, and no man should dictate the opinions he should hold or the 
creed he should subscribe to— for they could not give him a guarantee about the 
future : and all its problems of life, and time, and death, were as much his business 
as any other man's, and he must solve them for himself ^s he best could. He de- 

* The number present was at least 400, judging by the crowd ; and as many as those 
named by this reporter were turned away from the doors. The platform was so thronged 
that I was compelled to stand on a chair in order to be seen, and the small area of an 
arm chair was all the room allowed me. It must have been this elevation on so slender 
a pedestal which made me appear ' lanky ' in the eyes of the reporter. The occa- 
sional ' Haitch ' must have been owing to the density of the atmosphere. It was not pos- 
sible to get the vowels out in clearness or purity in such a thick and 'villanous com- 
pound ' of inhalation as that of which the reporter complains— it could not have been 
owing to Cockney birth, as I happen to be a native of Birmingham. — G. J, H. 


manded liberty to pursue his own course, as all the consequences must finally be on 
his own head. The reason of his coming here was the discussion published in the 
local newspapers on the admission of irreligious books into the working man's 
reading rooms. So far as the controversy was concerned, he thought there was 
much to amend on both sides. What astonished him most was that such a 
number of person^ should be forgetful of what was due to one of their most illus- 
trious countrymen — Thomas Paine. He then entered at length into a vindication 
of Paine's political and moral character. When he lived it was dangerous to 
think as he thought. His life and liberty were perpetually in danger. The friend 
of Burke and Washington he was one of the great means, through his pen, of giv- 
ing America her freedom, and his strong sense was employed in vindicating the 
principles of liberty all over the world. The advocate of morality and order, he 
sacrificed himself to some of his best friends when he published his ' Age of 
Reason,' and made himself a martyr to the opinions he avowed and with which the 
world had since so virulently quarrelled. He regretted that towards such a man 
the harsh expressions indulged in during the recent controversy should have been 
employed. He contended that Paine's works, as well as others, styled irreligious, 
should be included in the libraries of all reading rooms where the working classes 
were to be fairly and properly educated. The clergy were fond of denouncing 
Paine as an irreligious man ; they did the same with Voltaire and Robespierre; 
and called them Atheists. They were not so, but believers in God, and in their 
lifetime were the only men who made contributions to the arguments proving the 
existence of a God — contributions of which he had heard clergymen avail them- 
selves in the same sermons in which they denounced the authors of them. Ad- 
verting to the report of the discussion in the Athenaeum relative to the condition 
of Mr. Mounsey's grant of land for a new reading room, the lecturer said the 
speech of the Dean was the speech of a gentleman — there was courtesy and good 
feeling in it. Mr. Mounsey appeared to be the only man who made the recognitioa 
that there might be conscience on the side of those opposed to the conditions. 
With respect to the rest, he never heard such a fuss made about £100 in his life ; 
it gave the impression that the working classes of Carlisle were in a state of de- 
plorable poverty, when £100 could be of such consequence to them. For his 
own part, while he would accept the money under such conditions as might be im- 
posed, he would protest against the wisdom of those conditions — stating that the 
time would come when the Protestants would be able and obliged to create for 
themselves a new institution in which the proscribed books should be admissible. 
Just so with regard to education. If he had his wish, he .would make it secular, 
but it was of such importance that he would willingly accept it with any admixture 
of religion rather than none at all. The word secular was misused. Institutions 
professedly excluded religion and politics, but there was not one in the kingdom 
where the profession was observed. The committee who managed them 
would one day refuse to let the room to a lecturer like himself, and the 
next they would let it to a clergyman — which was in efiisct putting down 
the minority, and giving the advantage to the dominant party. The Earl 
of Carlisle — the wisest, most useful, and most liberal of our earls — in open- 
ing an institution recently in London, said it would be open to all — no one 
would be excluded ; but directly afterwards he said, * As to the books, my friend 
the Vicar of St. James's will see to them.' Good manners and good feeling taught 
us to join in the society of men of all opinions or no opinions at all on religion j 
and yet, while it was deemed proper to meet them in person and on an equality, 


their books, expressing their honest opinions, were most inconsistently rejected 
as inadmissible. If institutions were to be made really secular, all books should 
be excluded, except those relating to science, history, and criticism — not the best 
course, in his opinion, but the course that was forced upon them by the impossi- 
bility of men meeting together and learning each other's opinions on the solemn 
topics which were placed under ban. If they were more manly, better-informed, 
and braver — if they had more confidence in truth than they appeared to have — 
they would say, ' Let every one express his opinions as he pleases, and we will trust 
to the issue, whatever it be.' Mr. Mounsey had acknowledged that the opponents 
of the conditions of his grant might be perfectly conscientious in their views. 
And what were £100 compared to a man's conscience? ' What mattered it to a 
man if he gained the whole world, if he lost his own soul?' A man's conscience 
ought to be dearer to him than money, and no man should suffer it to be bribed. 
Why did Christians prefer Christianity to Mahomedanism, Buddhism, or Paganism, 
but because, looking at its evidences, promises, and professions, they believed it to be 
the most reasonable of them all ? They had a right to hold their opinions on that 
point; and he claimed the right to hold his on the same ground of reasonability. 
He might be mistaken — they might be mistaken. As far as he could judge 
he was right, and his persistence in his opinions had involved him in many disad- 
vantages. He could not take an oath, if it was to be held as a profession of faith, 
and he thus was prevented from recovering property of which he had been 
deprived ; and for avowing faithfully his honest convictions with regard to religious 
matters he had been sent to prison by Judge Erskine for six months. Men hold- 
ing his opinions were treated much after the fashion of the witches of old, who 
were thumb-tied and thrown into a ditch — if they swam they were burned for 
witches, and if they sank they were drowned. The lecturer then gave a sketch of 
the philosophy of human belief and the progress of opinion — maintaining that 
every man should be allowed freely to utter his opinions, and truth left to take 
care of itself. If opinions were wrong or bad, free discussion would put them 
down — the only fuir, honourable, and rightful way in which opinion ought to be 
put down. If the clergy and other Christians had the same confidence in their 
opinions that he had in his, they would give every man fair play, and not be afraid 
of the issue. A bad opinion or a bad book could not live among an intellectual 
people. If Paiue's ' Age of Reason ' was a bad book — if its language was coarse 
or vicious — it would create disgust in the minds of all, and the evil would work 
its own cure. While they were all grateful to Paine for what he did, they might 
allow that he had used many expressions which would not be used in the present 
day. But the fact was, the progress of opinion was now much beyond Paine. 
The ' Age of Reason ' was nearly obsolete, and its arguments or principles were 
seldom referred to. There were better books for which people were more con- 
cerned now-a-days. Thus they had the books of the Rationalists of Germany; 
and if he wanted a model of a book — free from every possible fault — he would 
point to Professor Newman's ' Phases of Faith.' The perfection of kindness, 
modesty, wisdom, and a most careful consideration of the consciences of other 
men was in ' The Soul : her Sorrows and her Aspii-ations,' by the same author, 
who says the attributes of the religious man are humility, kindness, disinterested- 
ness, service, love, and modesty. If these were the characteristics of Christianity, 
how kind and gentle ought Christians to be ! Yet he was afraid the Dean of 
Carlisle would not sanction Mr. Newman's books for a Working Man's Reading 
Room. Briefly, he might say that the nature of the ground of controversy with 


the Christian world had changed, and people in Carlisle seemed to know nothing 
about it. He would not hold a controversy on the ' Age of Reason,' which was 
simply a criticism on the alleged authenticity and inspiration of the Bible, He 
Would not enter into a wordy cavil whether these things were true or false, for the 
discussion would leave no man wiser or better. If they told him miracles were 
performed, he replied he was sorry the day of miracles was gone by. If a man could 
now catch a iish with the income-tax in its mouth, and feed four or five thousand 
persons with a few loaves and fishes, the Poor Law Commissioners would make a 
king of him. If he were told there were true prophets, all that he was sorry for 
was that the race was extinct, for many things had happened which were not fore- 
told, and it would have been better for us if they had been foretold — better for the 
working classes, and better for civil and religious liberty. As to the interpreta- 
tion of the Bible, out of respect to a man he might argue it with him, but the ar- 
gument would be useful to neither of them. To judge of its authenticity it 
was necessary to be acquainted with Arabic, Sanscrit, Greek, Latin, and He- 
brew ; and the multitude of people, as well as himself, were too busily occupied to 
study these languages. The Bible, therefore, was a dead letter to them and to him. 
If these things affected his eternal interest he must study them and judge for him- 
self with his own eyes ; he could not believe them at second hand, and trust his sal- 
vation to the possibility of the correctness of other persons' reports, or to the 
casualty of any man's interpretation. The only ground worth debating was 
whether Christian doctrines exalt mankind and afford them new inducements to 
virtuous conduct, and whether the examples set forth therein were such as could 
be referred to in the battle of freedom and truth in which they were all engaged. 
He was as much concerned about private virtue and public morality as Christians 
were. There must be public justice, order, and legal regulations by which justice 
should be done amongst men. If he differed from them it was because he believed 
there was a better way of accomplishing all these things than the way he attacked 
— and not because he had less regard for truth, honour, humanity, or duty. He 
agreed in all things, and he would only have Christians to deal with him as to the 
wisdom or folly of his views, not as to the integrity of his intentions. Surely no 
man would uphold the Christian religion longer than he believes it to be true : and 
if a man conscientiously protested against it as erroneous he should not be held np 
as an infidel, treacherous to truth. Chalmers, Whately, and Mackintosh had all 
admitted that religion and morality were independent of each other, morality having 
its own proper sanctions, and religion merely shedding a purer light over the 
whole domain of moral duty. But because the infidel's grounds of morality were 
different from the Christian's, it was unjust to say that he had no morality at all. 
The lecturer concluded amidst loud applause, and offered to answer any question 
that might be put to him, but no one coming forward he again briefly addressed 
the meeting, and, after he had acknowledged the vote of thanks passed to him, 
the meeting broke up shortly before 10 o'clock. — Carlisle Journal. 


The magistrates of Whitehaven have had a case before them, in which Mr. Chas. 
Flinn was charged with assaulting Mr. Hugan, by religious profession a Unitarian, 
while delivering a lecture at the end of the Bulwark, a place usually devoted to 
open air preaching. Two witnesses proved the serious assault on Mr. Hugan, 
but the magistrates dismissed the case, on the ground that the address of the 
lecturer, which was on * Progression,' was inciting a breach of the peace. Some 

expressions relative to the divinity of Christ formed the offence, which the worthy 
magistrate pronounced ' highly culpable conduct.' The Whitehaven Herald informs 
us that the Rev. F. W. Wicks was upon the bench when this disreputable decision 
was given. Thus it appears that Mr. Flinn has these magistrates' approbation to 
play the ruffian whenever a Unitarian shall displease him touching the divinity of 
Christ. — Leader, June 14th. 

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The instrumental band at the Hall of Science has been changed for a pianoforte, 
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We learn that Mr. George Adams, of Cheltenham, has gone to America. 

The tract with which we are favoured by Mr. Jordan — the ' Logic of Life,' by the 
Rev. Hugh Stowell, M. A. — was not written with any reference to the ' Logic of Death.* 
On the contrary, it was that tract which suggested the title of the ' Logic of Death.' 

S. Moons will find every work of Voltaire worth its English price. 

The German wool work, in relievo landscape, illustrative of the Seasons, is at the 
Rosherville Gardens this season. The ingenious artists have done nature into wool in 
a very noticeable manner. « 

M. Cabet, the Icarian Communist, arrived in London last week, and has proceeded 
to Paris. 

Mr. HdU, of Carrington Street, Nottingham, wishes to purchase a copy of Blount's 
Translation of Philostratius. 

On Sunday evening, Mr. Holyoake lectured at the Hall of Science on ' The Policy 
and Prospects of Freethinking ; with a report of the strength and temper of the enemy 
in Scotland and the North.' 

London: Printed by Holyoake Brothers, 3, Queen'i Head Pa«sage, Paternoster-row; and Published 
by J. WataoD, 3, Queen's Head Passage, Paternoster-row. — Wednesday, June 18th, 1851. 



They who believe that they hav« Truth ask no favour, save that of being heard; they dare the 
judgment of Mankind : refused Co-operation, they invoke Opposition, for Opposition ia their 
Opportunity. — Editob. 


The first lecture in Paisley was in the Wilson Hall, held by our Socialist friends. 
Mr. Motherwell is still secretary, and Mr. Glassford president. There is no ex- 
ample among us in which a small Branch has continued its organisation and social 
usefulness, and grown in influence, and acquired respect, as the Paisley Branch 
has done. And there are pieces of their conduct as instructive as their general 
example. Before my engagement was completed, Mr. Motherwell wrote me — * We 
are ready, but we wait for Glasgow to step first. They seem to expect the position 
of the initiative, and we all concede it to them.' Such an excellent temper as this 
is rarely manifested. Where there is the ability to act thus, there is always the 
ability to exist, and control success. 

One who was lately known as Provost Anderson, of Paisley, died on the night 
of my first lecture. He is spoken of as a liberal and intelligent man. He was a 
Quaker. In England a Quaker is a solemn thing enough, but in Scotland, that is 
when compared with good presbyterian saints, he is quite a lively creature— cer- 
tainly a liberal one as far as freedom of conscience is concerned, and the moral use 
of the Sabbath. The good provost always gave his vote in favour of Sunday trains. 
Peace and honour be with his name. A story is told of the provost, that in his 
early days he was so thorough-going a radical that, about 1820, he had to ship 
himself to America in a meal tub. Some assured me the legend was fabulous, 
others that it was true, which is likely enough in those blessed days of Castlereagh 
Toryism. If so, the provost must have been entered among the imports of the New 
York Custom-house as a ' British refugee in barrel.' When, in the course of events, 
the i-adical became a provost, people wondered at the change of public opinion ; and 
when the jealous radicals thought the good provost grew whiggish, they revived the 
fable of the meal barrel. Nevertheless the broad-brimm«d mayor died with the 
real esteem of his fellow-citizens, many of whom remember with gratitude his noble 
conduct during a season of distress, such as Paisley has too often experienced. On 
such an occasion he refused to call in the military, whose presence he thought 
would only excite to outrage people already in despair through want. The respon- 
sibility of the peace of the town rested with him. It is difficult to conceive how 
much courage was required in this act. He saved many homes from widowhood 
and orphandom, and many poor fellows also from miserable transportation. The 
blood he saved must have been a sweeter thought to him on the bed of death, than 
the blood others have shed can surely be to them. The tomb of such a Magistrate 
is nobler than that of any Soldier's. 

Except the first, the lectures were given in the Exchange Rooms— the Wilson 
Street Hall being too small. The largest audiences I had addressed in Scotland 
were those of Paisley. Several took notes, but no notable person entered into 

[No. 265.J lNo.6, Vol. XI.] 


— t 


The first night in the Exchange Rooms a rather elderly man came on the plat- 
form, and, applying the definite article to a most indefinite subject, demanded of 
me to tell him ' which was the church ?' The querist seemed to be a cross between 
a Mormon and a Swedenborgian, and proved a pleasant interlocutor. 

Next, a lively gentleman in a short green coat, who had the bearing of a half- 
pay officer in a citizen's habit, stepped solemnly and methodically on to the plat- 
form. He rejoiced in the ancient name of Adam, but he did not resemble Adam 
in any other respect. Fixing himself like a drill-serjeant, stiff and perpendicular, 
he commenced ; and not till he had found his position did he seem able to speak 
at all. ' Did I believe in God ? he wanted to know that.' And then, still standing, 
arms down and perpendicular as a light-house, he turned a pair of eyes — large, 
full tea-Clip like eyes, so jetty and electrical that they seemed like a couple of black 
bude lights. Not since the days of Satchwell of Northampton have I seen any- 
thing half so flashy. The Exchange was large and the platform dark — so much so 
that I could scarcely see myself; and I must have appeared to the audience like 
an Esquimaux at the North Pole, in the nine months when they have no sun. 
But when my friend in green did his exercise of ' eyes right,' and turned his optics 
in my direction, he illumined the hall, and the audience resounded with surprise 
and merriment at this ocular pantomime. Of all the opponents I ever met, this 
gentleman was the most glaring. After a little short-sword exercise about the 
existence of God, he made a thrust with Chance, and closed by charging with the 
French Revolution. He was an * honest-like ' old ' sodger ' of the Uncle Toby 
school, and we missed him the second night. 

On returning to Paisley on the following week, I lectured, by request, on Chartism, 
after which an internecine discussion took place, Messrs Robinson and Cochrane 
being chief disputants. The subject was a vigorous mutual criticism of each 
others' party in the town, and preference and antipathy to Mr. O'Connor. With 
the general points of the lecture agreement was expressed. But with loca^ 
differences and active dissent there semed to exist a healthy feeling that promised 
to right itself. G. J. Holyoake. 


The proportion of recent numbers of the Reatoner written by myself attests the 
extent of the demands made on my attention and time, arising out of current con- 
troversies. Much, of which no notice has been given, remains behind. The In- 
tellectual Repository, a monthly magazine of the Swedenborgians, contains several 
columns of personal interest, by the Rev. Woodville Woodman, in reference to 
myself and in reference to Mrs. Martin (for whom, being ill, it is our duty to 
answer.) In the Lancaster Guardian the Rev. Mr. Fleming has commenced his 
reply to my lectures in that town. And that my answer may be admitted in the 
Guardian, it should be prepared with such carefulness that while it explains every 
principle faithfully, shall yet afford no pretext for exclusion. Public lectures can, 
in most cases, be rendered remunerative, but not so communications to the press, 
which now consume my time week after week, compelling the relinquishment of 
almost all other engagements. We have reached that stage at which it is indis- 
pensable that our defences are presented thoughtfully. The opponents whom we 
have deliberately provoked have leisure, learning, acuteness, and power, and they are 
ready and disposed to take vigorous advantage of any deficiencies or neglect which 
we may betray. The clergy in many quarters now take in the Reasoner to see the 
state of the case on the side opposed to them, and effectiveness is now of import- 


ance to us. Ministers take the Reasoner into their vestries and pulpits, and City 
Missionaries carry it from house to house, when they find any argument in it ill 
considered or ill expressed, by whomsoever written. Editorially, one will shortly 
have to learn of that vigilant merchant who acquired the faculty of sleeping with 
one eye open. 

In every part of the country demands are being loudly made for fuller develop- 
ments of our advocacy, especially for directions on organisation. This week ap- 
pears the continuation of our reply to Professor Newman's book, a statement 
which, for many reasons, ought no longer to be delayed. It is intended to appear 
in a separate form, for special circulation. Besides the Theological Register, which 
is proceeding, and a ' Library of all Churches,' which is being formed, the reader 
will shortly see an announcement of a ' Cabinet of Reason,' being a series of Six- 
penny and Shilling Volumes of works original and revised, by which we will con- 
sent to be judged. We have no accredited literature of our own, and the Clergy 
take up any book, by whomsoever and howsoever written, and quote it against us 
as our own. We must accredit chosen works, and thus put an end to this 
liability of indiscriminate attack and indefinite responsibility. 

The object of this notice is to say to those of our readers who think it useful 
that I should be able, for some time, to devote myself fully to the execution of a 
work to which I am in a sense pledged as a matter of honour, no less than con- 
scientious duty, will send reinforcements to our Propagandist List, so that the 
surplus, after defraying the usual expenses of the publication of the Reasoner, may 
afford some salary. This is not said to the public nor to all of our readers (because 
many read the Reasoner who are not with us), but to those who approve of what 
is being done and desire it to proceed uninterruptedly and as efficiently as possible. 
The persons now addressed are solely those who see that our war against the 
teachings of the priesthood is a well advised and necessary system of self-defence, 
who see that we are engaged in the destruction of that which, if not destroyed, 
paralyses progress and puts dishonour upon us, while it remains strong enough to 
enforce conventional acquiescence in it on the part of our friends. What is here 
proposed is not a matter of personal necessity to myself, as my customary en- 
gagements afford that which is sufficient for my wants. It will be a -vrron^ to me 
if any put upon this the construction of an ' appeal ' in the usual sense. I merely 
wish to be able to occupy myself in a particular way. As the fight has grown 
thick and hot, I, without hesitation, for the means of fighting the battle out. 
If I am to be held in any way responsible as conducting a warfare, I must, like 
any other person so placed, be held free to ask for reinforcements when needed. 

The Rev. Mr. Woodman, in the Swedenborgian magazine to which I have to 
reply, argues that I ought to work for nothing— but though the ability of doing so 
is enviable indeed, it involves consequences which I never found a butterman or a 
milkman able to understand, and, in the usual course of human events, it comes 
about that these people have to form opinions on this very subject. If Mr. 
Woodman happens to have any little people at his table, he has doubtless found out 
that they have learned to eat before reaching years of ' discretion,' and nothing 
that he can do will cure them of the habit. Every day they expect something, 
and though he explain to them that it is neither religious, disinterested, nor 
philosophical to eat ; and though he give them very excellent reasons against it — 
though he speak to them, as he of Tarsus has it, ' with the tongues of men and 
angels,' they will cut his oration short in two by demanding ' a piece of bread and 
butter' — and prove all eloquence on this point, as St. Paul again assures us, so 


much ' sounding brass and tinkling cymbals.' The doctrine, therefore, that Mr. 
Woodman could not carry out with juveniles, whose plastic nature is proverbial, 
cannot be of fair application to more unyielding adults, while the world is ao 
much addicted to dining, beyond the power of example to check or of logic to 
refute. I must therefore be allowed to stipulate for the means, till * better light ' 
is vouchsafed of complying with the general custom. G. J. Holyoake. 


A CONFERENCE of the people known as ' Mormonites,' or ' Latter-day Saints,' was 
held on Monday week, at the Freemasons' Tavern. Sometime before three o'clock, 
the hour fixed for commencing, the body of the large hall and the galleries were 
crowded with a very respectable and orderly assembly, consisting in about an 
equal division of the members of both sexes, with a considerable proportion of 
young persons. In addition to the leaders of the * Saints ' in London and the pro- 
vinces, and in Scotland and Ireland, there were also present several brethren from 
America, France, Belgium, Germany, Switzerland, and Sweden, who had come to 
the metropolis to visit the Exhibition. There could not, altogether, have been 
less than 1100 people in the hall, and nearly twice that number were refused 
tickets, in consequence of there not being sufficient room to accommodate them.... 
...There were addresses from the ' elders,' in the course of which it was stated that 
the statistics of January last showed there were, altogether, in the United King- 
dom, 42 conferences, 602 branches, 22 seventies, 12 high priests, 1,761 elders, 
1,590 priests, 1,226 teachers, 682 deacons, and 25,454 members; making a total of 
30,747 Saints. During the last 14 years more than 50,000 had been baptised in 
England, of whom 17,000 had emigrated to ' Zion.' One of the young ladies, 
dressed in white (perhaps the most handsome and ladylike of the number), next 
took her place on the platform, and delivered, in a clear and well modulated voice, 
an address on behalf of the young ladies, relative to the important part sustained 
by their sex in assisting to elevate the morals and improve the spiritual condition 
of the human family by the spread of the Gospel, nnd the upbuilding of the kingdom 
of God, &c. Miss Louisa Johnstone, of Birmingham, a young vocalist of con- 
siderable merit, who presided at the piano, afterwards favoured the company with 
a song, the first verse of which was as follows : — 

I'm a saint, I'm a saint, on the rough world wide, 
The earth is my home, and my God is my guide ! 
Up, up, with the truth, let its power bend the knee, 
I am sent, I am sent, and salvation is free. 
I fear not old priestcraft; its dogmas can't awe, 
I've a chart for to steer by, that tells me the law ; 
And ne'er as a coward to falsehood I'll kneel 
While Mormon tells truth, or God's prophets reveal ! 
Up, up, with the truth, let its power bend the knee ; 
I am sent ! I am sent ! dying Bab'lon to thee ; 
I am sent ! I am sent I take this warning and flee. 

Hymns and songs, and addresses from Lorenzo Snow, President of the Italian 
Mission, and Erastus Snow of the Danish Mission, followed, and the meeting did 
not separate until a late hour. 

[We have abridged this account from the ^o«co«/br»iJS< of June 11 th, not having 
had the opportunity of being present at the meeting. It is frequently said that Chris- 
tianity must be true— it spread so miraculously : that it could not be ridiculous, or it 
would not have met with such prompt acceptation. Here we have a body having the 
advantage of doctrines as ridiculous as can be desired, multiplying much more miracu- 
lously than Christianity itself. Mormonism must be true. — Ed.] 


(iFvaminattoii of t^c ^rcjSs. 

The Christianity of Christ, and the Christianity of the Churches. 
— There is no moral virtue more estimable than sincerity of opinion. There is no 
spectacle more painful to an honest, sensitive, and truth-loving spirit, than that of 
a conscientious man suffering under persecution for having publicly expressed the 
convictions of his mind. Who can read of the horrid barbarities practised by the 
Popish inquisition on Protestant Christians, and not feel his blood boil with indig- 
nation ? Who can read of the savage cruelties inflicted by Protestant bigotry 
upon Popish Christians, and not blush and sigh for the superstition, ignorance, 
and inconsistency of humanity ? Who ? do we say — alas ! we fear there are many 
even in the nineteenth century, and in England, who would not scruple to erect 
again the stake at Smithfield, and with their own hands to apply the torch to the 
faggot-bound ' heretic' There are to this day, and we grieve to write it, many 
highly educated (as the phrase goes) and notably-pious persons whose religious 
zeal would carry them on to the perpetration of atrocities towards their mis-be- 
lieving fellow-creatures, which would be worthy the worst times of papal despotism. 
The love of persecution for the sake of religion yet glows in the hearts of thousands 
of professing Christians. This love is not confined to the professors of any parti- 
cular set of doctrines ; it is alike cherished by Pi'otestant and Roman Catholic, by 
churchman and dissenter — in short by all who prefer the wild dogmas of revela- 
tion to the pure dictates of reason. From the time of ear-smiting Peter down to 
the present debate about ' papal aggression,' the history of Christianity has been 
little else than one unbroken succession of bloodthirsty violence, sectarian bitter- 
ness, and priestly fraud. So true is this, that it has been said that if a man were 
to judge of Christianity by the conduct of Christians, it is about the very last re- 
ligion a good citizen would select for himself. And we are convinced more infidels 
have been made through the religious feuds of Christian churches, than by the 
teaching of the most talented sceptical authors. Seeing that Christian commu- 
nities have not been more free from strife and wickedness than other states 
where the name of Christ was not only not adored but despised, many a man has 
been driven to renounce every religious faith, and to say with the French philosopher 
Bayle 'I am a Protestant because I protest against all religions.' The wisdom of 
such a course we may be permitted to call in question ; but enthusiastic sensibility 
is frequently the victim of illogical conclusions, and we must confess to some sort 
of respect for the errors of the head when we find the heart uninfected with in- 
human and anti-social prejudices. Now, to condemn the Christianity of Christ as 
laid down in the new Testament because the Christianity of the churches has 
sanctioned persecution and slaughter, appears to us a very considerable error of 
the head. And this is one point on which we think Mr. Holyoake errs. He 
argues that as Christians have in every age acted the part of ferocious tormentors 
towards those who have differed from them in religion, Christianity must neces- 
sarily be a ferocious and wicked faith. But we do not admit the sequitur. Christ 
never commanded persecution — he taught us to love our enemies, as Socrates had 
done four hundred years before. Christ did not ordain secular punishments for 
those who refused his doctrine— he desired the tares among the wheat to be let 
alone until the harvest, and not to be rooted up and burnt with fire. Christ 
preached ' peace on earth,' and we challenge Mr. Holyoake to show one occasion 
on which Jesus of Nazareth evinced a partiality for massacres, wars, and intole- 


rance. The spirit of Christ was the spirit of gentleness and love. Indignation he 
doubtless often displayed against Pharisees and ceremony-worshipping Jews, but 
a heart earnest for the propagation of truth and the victory of right, cannot avoid 
the impulses of its better nature. Christ's indignation, however, never over- 
stepped the bounds of charity. To accuse Christ of want of charity and of insti- 
gating to persecution, in consequence of what subsequent teachers and professors 
have done, is unjust. It is equally unjust to identify, as many do, the profession 
of atheism with profligacy of character and entire contempt for all moral obliga- 
tions. Mr. Holyoake will admit the force of reasoning when applied to his own 
case— why not, then, in the case of Christianity? Neither can we agree with Mr. 
Holyoake in his atheistical theory. Mr. H. does not believe there is a God, because 
he cannot discover any trace of him in nature. To our minds nature presents so 
many marks of design and such evidence of a prime power somewhere existing, that 
unless the system of the universe arose by chance out of chaos, or existed from all 
eternity, there is nothing left for us to fall back upon but the being of a God — that 
is some spiritual, eternal, intelligent power, the first principle of all things. What 
the nature and attributes of this power may be we do not pretend to say. What 
we contend for is simply the necessary existence of some such power, call it by what 
name you please— Jehovah, God, Nature, or Lord. We think that the atheist 
asks us to credit a greater miracle than any to be found in the Christian Scriptures. 
But be this as it may ; let the atheist's belief or no-beliet be the very essence of cre- 
dulity and folly, he has a right to enunciate it openly. If his views he unreasonable, 
those of his persecutors who would silence him by law and punish him by im- 
prisonment for free utterance are not only unreasonable but disgraceful. The 
narrative of Mr. Holyoake's book sets foith in strong colours the hideous de- 
formity of that species of modern inquisition which the law places over liberty of 
thought and lipeech. We envy not that man his feelings who can peruse this ' Last 
Tiial by Jury for Atheism ' unmoved, and without loathing for the paltry piety 
of his accusers. We are surprised at the cool and temperate tone in which this 
book is written. After the treatment Mr. Holyoake received from the ' powers 
that be,' we might have expected a more antagonistic production from his pen. 
Six months' confinement in Gloucester gaol — for merely saying in public that he 
thought the people too poor to have a God, and that while they were in this state 
it would be well to put the Deity on half-pay — instead of souring, seems to have 
philosophised his spirit, without converting him to the Christian faith, Mr. 
Holyoake was tried in August 1842, and found guilty of blasphemy, that vague and 
capricious term for an indefinable ciime. The account he gives of his trial is 
extremely interesting. The description of his prison lite it is impossible to read 
without emotion. While in confinement several attempts were made to convince 
him of the error of his creed, but were all unsuccessful. We cannot but admire 
the quiet yet determined manner in which Mr. Holyoake conducted himself 
throughout his imprisonment. He effectually baffled the soul-torturing priests 
who came to 'convert ' him by authority, and we regard his little book as a valu- 
able contribution to the cause of freethought. — F, G., in the Working MarCt Jour- 
nal of June 7th, 1851. [Against the remarks of this friendly reviewer, touching 
Christianity not warranting perseciftipn, it is not necessary to offer a defence here. 
Those who read the book reviewed will find the reasons upon which the author 
grounds his statements, and by them he is willing to be judged. — Ed.] 





'Thb most decisive moral eflFects produced 
by the devotional posture of the soul,' ex- 
pressed by the term reverence, is explained 
(p. 50) to 'depend on consciousness that it 
has met the eye of God.' To ensure this 
sentiment pure, lofty, and progressive, Mr. 
Newman hesitates not to warn the reader 
that even the Bible is not to be regarded 
as an Ideal, unless the conscience is too 

[Continued from last number.] 

punish the desire of sin, as itself a sin, is 
the germ of all spirituality (p. 66.) We 
get more light than comes from many 
sermons in a single definition ; as that of 
Remorse, for instance, which is explained 
as the convulsion of the Soul, as it con- 
sciously stands under the eye of God 
(p. 69.) 

The purposes of religion', the condition of 

dull to rise above the Bible— that in no case its purity and test of its perfection, are thus 

must the conscience be depressed to any 
standard, not even to the Biblical standard 
("p. 62.) Mr. Newman gives this salutary 
piece of instruction, by which the entire 
Christian world might largely profit. ' All 
Christian apostles and missionaries,' says 
he, ' like the Hebrew prophets, have al- 
ways refuted Paganism by direct attacks 
oniisimmoral doctrines, and have appealed 
to the coisciences of heathens as compe- 
tent to decide the controversy (p. 59.) The 
same boldness of simple and true faith, 
by which the born votary of Paganism 
breaks away from the errors of his national 
creed to follow [what he is told are] the 
revelations of God in his soul, will also 
authorise and require the Romanist to re- 
ject the Authority of his Church, and the 
Protestant that of his Bible, whenever the 
one or the other inculcates upon him as 
divine that \shich falls beneath the highest 
Ideal of his soul' (p. 57.) 

If it were required of me to define this work 
on the Soul, in relation to that spiritual 
religion which is so distasteful to the world 
when dispensed from the pulpits by men of 
crude knowledge and vulgar nature, I 
should say this book is the ' Philosophy of 
Evangelical Piety.' Mr. Newman throws 
a new light on Sin — a subject so treated 
that no new light was deemed possible; so 
badly treated, indeed, that no new light 
was felt to be wanted. When it comes to 
be distinctly perceived that the God of 
Nature is the God of our conscience's, and 
that all wrow^ doing is frowned on by Him, 
the two new terms, Holiness and Sin, are 
needed (p. 65.) To perceive, as even old 
Herodotus did, that the GoJs hate and 

• ' The Soul, her Sorrows and her Aspi- 
rations.' By Francis William Newman. 
London : John Chapman. 

described—' 1 he moral uses of religion are 
to enliven man's conscience, strengthen his 
will, elevate his aspirations, content him 
with small supplies to his lower wants, 
rouse all his generous tendencies, and here- 
by ennoble him altogether ; but it can do 
none of these things effectually, except 
when it keeps him steadily looking into the 
face of the Infinite and Infinitely Pure One' 
(p. 70.) Guileness is the whole secret of 
divine peace (p. 74.) A conscious upright- 
ness is obviously necessary to any spiritual 
peace, nor does the heart need any other 
testimony than its own to the fact of its 
uprightness (p. 89.) 

With a reflection as searching as his 
piety is pure, Mr. Newman points out that 
what is popularly termed ' the total de- 
pravity of human nature ' is more correctly 
the imperfection of nature. In order to be 
morally perfect we should need at once 
infinite wisdom and affections of infinite 
power — in fine, we should need the incom- 
municable prerogatives of God ("p. 84.) 
The necessary imperfection of our con- 
stitution cannot be appropriated to us as 
Sin. This rational sense of sin does not, 
however, degenerate into contentment with 
imperfection, for the Soul is taught to 
aspire daily to higher and higher Perfection. 
To distinguish between the testimony of a 
Good Conscience and the dangerous com- 
placency of Self-righteousness, Mr. New- 
man observes, that ' the moment we begin 
to admire ourselves, we are satisfied with 
the state of goodness already attained, and 
cease (for so long) to aspire after anything 
highes : thus the life-blood of the soul is 
arrested, and putrefying stagnation is to 
be feared' (p. 92.) 

In treating of the sense of Per- 
sonal Relation to God, Mr. Newman 
no longer appeals to reason within 



the same degree as in the preceding 
portions of his work. We therefore take 
his descriptions of this phenomenon. ' The 
man,' gays he, ' who at the same moment 
that he adores perceives that his adoration 
is perceived and is accepted, has already 
begun an intercourse with God' (p. 123.) 
Mr. Newman's theory is however consistent 
with itself in all attractiveness of worship. 
He tells us that ' God does not act towards 
us (spiritually) by generalisations, which 
may omit our individual case — his perfec- 
tion consists in dealing with each case by 
itself as if there were no other '(p. 126.) 
Spiritual progress Mr. Newman holds to 
consist, not merely in suppressing some 
worse and lower tendency very necessary 
and desirable, but a comfortable mediocrity 
is all that will result. The moral perceptions 
must keep rising (p. 169) -the better part 
which we choose must keep elevating 
(p. 168.) 

Mr. Newman's views of a Future 
life are as new, modest, and pure as his 
other speculations. He considers that 
there are no arguments either in Scripture 
or of Reason appreciable by the unspiritual 
consciousness proving the immortality of 
the soul. Future existence seems not to 
him necessary, either to soften sorrow or 
animate hope. Pure love to God simply 
requires that nearness of spirit which is 
obedience and purity. Trustful aspiration 
seems to be the condition of the soul with 
respect to eternity — and whatever as- 
surance can be had of everlasting life 
comes best from the spiritual conviction 
that from being a child of God we shall 
be heirs of God — of his kingdom, the king- 
dom of the Prophets and the Messiah. 

On the Sermon on the Sabbath, and 
other ' Means of Grace,' especially on the 
Sabbath, Mr. Newman produces one of the 
most original and effective passages which 
has yet been written. These are parts of 
the book the public will suppose most con- 
genial to us, but we have no intention to 
dwell upon them— we deem them rather 
belonging to the religious who may profit 
by such a piquant analysis of their un- 
suspected errors. We indeed admire the 
modest and reverent bravery with which 
the whole book is conducted from beginning 
to end. All the efforts of mankind to ex- 
plain the mystery of spiritual things are 
treated with rps[ject; and yet none are 
exempt from that manly criticism which 
comes so gracefully from the brother of the 
great Puseyite leader. We have chosen 
rather to dwell on those affirmative de- 
velopments which are additions to our 

insight into religious phenomena. We 
therefore conclude this imperfect exposition 
by a final passage, which must command 
the respect of philosophy, as he gives us his 
key to the True Religion. ' The immense 
progress of pure intellect,' says he, ' must 
show every thoughtful man the impossi- 
bility (not to say wickedness) of sacrificing 
the Intellect to the Soul; and wherever 
there is true Faith, there is an unhesitating 
conviction that there cannot possibly be 
any real collision between these two parts 
of human nature' (p. 180.) ' To sacrifice 
Imagination and Intellect, and to sacrifice 
Domestic aSection, are about on a par. 
It seems to be quite an axiom of thought 
that the human mind was meant to labour 
for the Useful, to con template the Beautiful, 
to possess itself of the True, and to contend 
for the Right, as well as to worship the 
Holy, or imitate the Bountiful One (p.l 90.) 
He who attempts to render the work of 
another should, as far as possible, render 
it in the spirit in which it is written. This 
I have endeavoured to do, placing myself, 
as well as I was able, in the author's place, 
endeavouring to think his thoughts, and to 
forget that my own views differed from 
his. If I have done justice to my own 
estimate of Mr. Newman's book, the reader 
will agree with me that it approaches to 
the solution of that famous question put in 
'Childe Harold'— 

Foul Superstition ! howsoe'er disguised, 
Idol, saint, virgin, prophet, crescent, cross, 
For whatsoever symbol thou art prized. 
Thou sacerdotal gain, but general loss! 
Who from true worship's gold can separate 
thy dross ? * 

The author of the ' Soul, her Sorrows and 
her Aspirations^ has higher pretensions to 
have answered this question than any other 
writer of our times. 

Religious persons have often replied to 
me, ' You will find the same genial ut- 
terances of piety in the writings of many 
divines as in Mr. Newman's.' In one 
sense this is true ; there are passages 
of generous inspiration in the works of 
many eminent preachers, but express- 
ed with less explicitness, and besides, 
accorapained with a certain equivoca- 
tion which leaves you in doubt whether 
you may trust them. With Mr. Newman 
there is an unmistakableness which you 
feel to be at once reliable. There are no 
subtle texts of Scripture coming in to dilute 
his meaning — there are no theories of 
divinity crushing the vitality out of bis 
generous sayings. What he says once he 



says all through — not in one or two pas- 
sages, but on every page. His speech is 
constantly gentle — his pure views extend 
to his life— they pervade all he does — he 
sweeps away all that contradicts his genial 
utterances. It is in this wholeness, this 
permanence of spirit, that makes him un- 
like all other Christian writers. 


The advantage of a book of this character 
to all who desire the rationalisation of re- 
ligion is incalculable. It constitutes a stan- 
dard by which to try the low types of the 
Christian faith. To one who dissents from 
pure Moralism — to any indeed who hold 
the popular and degrading forms of Christi- 
anity, we may point to the teachings of 
this book, and thus hope to elevate them. 
To ourselves it has the great value of 
showing us the ablest things that can be 
urged by a man of candour and genius, 
and in what is excellent in such delinea- 
tion we see what we have to equal or 
surpass, if we are compelled to reject 
that set forth by our opponent. A book 
so consummate as the Natural History of 
the Soul, is a standard, therefore, by which 
to try others and ourselves. 

This is not a hard book to answer from 
our point of sight — the difficulty is in re- 
futing such argumentative foundation as 
it has without giving the impression that 
we undervalue its fine moral developments. 

Mr. Newman sees in the Soul and the 
Conscience specific senses. But the re- 
currence to us in act of our common ideal 
of j ustice or duty is all that we mean when 
we speak of Conscience. The frequent 
query to the unjust, or supine man — ' have 
you no conscience V means, have you no 
sense of justice or duty ? We have seen 
the Soul defined as ' that part of our nature 
by which we are in contact with the In- 
finite' But the Soul, like the conscience, 
admits of a simple explanation. From the 
observation of the near we pass to the con- 
templation of extended phenomena. The 
illimitableness of the unknown has a refining 
influence over us. Doubtless we desire to 
discover our relation, if any, to it. The 
sense of the Infinitude around us is an 
extension or enlargement of our Conscious- 
ness. We give it the name of Soul, but 
we hardly mean thereby an entity. W^e 
may recur to reflections on nature, and 
thus amplify our own life without making 
that part of our nature an independent 
existence. To refer each class of functions 
to separate moral senses is convenient and 
distinctive, but we must beware of allow- 
ing these terms to grow into entities by this 

specious and frequent use. From speaking 
of infinite phenomena we come to abridge 
it into the Infinite, the unknown parts of 
nature come to be spoken of by Goethe as 
the Unknown. The Infinite and the Un- 
known, by the agency of isolation and 
capital letters, assume the force of per- 
sonalities, and the attribute insensibly 
glides into an Entity. It appears to me 
that the logical force of this book upon 
believers lies in the unnoticed metamor- 
phoses which such leading words undergo. 

The atheist sees also with Mr. Newman, 
that all human knowledge is bounded ; 
and he, too, seeks to draw the line where 
our knowledge ends and our conjectures 
begin : but the * illimitable haziness ' sur- 
rounding our existence, of which he also 
is sensible, fails to enable him to draw up 
a confession of religious belief — it indeed 
excites his ' imagination,' but fails to guide 
his ' understanding.' The ' region of dim- 
ness is not without relation to his moral 
state,' so far as we can judge the reasons 

The Infinite is open to us as well as to 
the theist, and therefore the ' generous 
side' of the nature of the moralist may be 
nurtured and expanded by its contemp- 
lation. Every aspect of nature has its 
lesson for reflective man. The boundless 
ness of the starry region impresses us with 
the littleness of all strife. In the presence 
of such immensity we are taught humility 
and love. We cannot look on Nature at 
Peace without inspiring gentleness and 
tranquility. The same forms of moral 
loveliness our author delineates with a 
master's hand, seen equally discernible and 
equally to belong to the student of nature. 

Mr. Newman unites a Catholic explicit- 
ness to Evangelical doctrine — with him we 
have none of the evasiveness of the usual 
rational religionists. Mr. Newman does 
not pretend to compete with logic. He is 
too much of the scholar to deprecate it. 
He concedes its great claims as the security 
of intelligence, but he erects a system in- 
dependently of it, openly, respectfully, but 
boldly without it. 

The affections of Awe, Wonder, Admira- 
tion, do not denote any necessary belief in 
a Personal Deity (p. 49.) Order, Design, 
Goodness, and Wisdom are the attributes 
of nature which are held to bring in a per- 
sonal Deity. But with respect to Order 
in the universe, we do not learn from any 
observation that it must necessarily have an 
external origin. Mr. Newman does not 
seem to discover in nature proof that it has 
a Ruler over it. He says that if a man 
believes that in the human mind an origi- 



nating Will exists, he will believe that the 
same species of Will has been exercised on 
nature. But if he discerns within himself 
no first principle of movement, he of course 
needs none out of himself. If in his own 
actions be sees no marks of (what others 
call) Will, why should he see them in 
Nature? (pp. 29-30.) This is precisely 
the case with the atheist. That law 
(.which is the name given to the uniformity 
of operations, to the calculable forces of 
nature) seems to him also to pervade mind. 
Intelligence seems no more exempt from 
law than inorganic matter. Will is merely 
the coincidence of desire, intellectual or 
sensuous, with external influence. 

The atheist therefore has little to answer : 
his case remains intact. He knows that 
no opinion will finally prevail but that 
which is founded on or coincident with 
logic. With respect to the ar?juraent of 
Design, Mr. Newman fails to establish any 
case which afiectsthe position of the atheist. 
The line of reasoning adopted by Paley, 
followed by Chalmers, and illustrated by 
Brougham, Mr. Newman gives up as un- 
tenable, and proposes a new statement of 
it. Thus :— 

* To believe in a divine architect, because 
I cannot otherwise understand by what 
train of causation an Eye could have been 
made, is one thing : does the theist any the 
more comprehend? But to beljeve in a 
Design, because I see the Eye to be suited 
to the Light, is another thing. This latter 
view rests on the intuitive perceptions of 
the Soul ; the former on the accuracy of 
strict logical deduction — which can easily 
be shown to be inconclusive. Such Fit- 
nesses as meet our view on all sides bring 
a reasonable conviction that Design lies 
beneath them ; and to confess, is to confess 
the doctrine of an intelligent Creator ' 
(p. 34.) 

But this goes no farther than to furnish 
a superficial, popular justification of the 
ascription of mind and personality to the 
power which is in Nature. But to what 
end do we trouble at all about this matter 
unless to get intellectual satisfaction out of 
it 1 and this Mr. Newman's argument can- 
not afToid us. He himself says it does not 
carry us up to a First Cause.* Then how 

* A celebrated divine of the Church of 
England, some time ago, favoured me with 
an answer to my ' Logic of Death,' founded 
upon a masterly restatement of the design 
argument. As he marked his letter ' private,' 

can we rely on that course of reasoning 
which brings with it no test of its authen- 
ticity ? How can we know that the road 
we have set out upon is the right one, if it 
be a road that cannot bring us to the end 
of our journey? In a passage of memo- 
rable candour, Mr. Newman only alleges 
that ' it is injustice — to the train of thought 
— which suggests Design to represent it as 
a search after causes until we come to a 
First Cause, and there stop.' 

But if this be not its purpose, of what 
value is it 1 Mr. Newman continues — 

' As an argument this, I confess, in itself 
brings me no satisfaction. It is not pre- 
tended that we understand the First Cause 
any more than the original phenomena. 
When we know not the character of His 
agency, how have we accounted for any- 
thing ? or how have we even siraplified the 
problem? A Go</ uncaused and existing 
from eternity is to the full as incompre- 
hensible as a world uncaused and existing 
frora eternity ' (p. 36.) 

It would not be possible to express more 
forcibly the difficulties which the atheist 
seeks to clear up. Yet upon these Mr. 
Newman has and professes to have no light 
to throw. If, therefore, we regard the po- 
sition of the atheist logically as it should be 
regarded, as arising in an attempt to sa- 
tisfy the human understanding respecting 
the fundamentals of Theology, Mr. New- 
man gives up the whole case to him, 

' It is right however here,' he observes, 
' to enter a protest against being thought 
to have any accurate and scientific know- 
ledge of God. We have none. Our know- 
ledge is essentially crude, and only approxi- 
mate ; and to affect the rigour of human 
science is mere delusion.' 

Mr. Newman's entire arguments on this 
head are founded on a total logical negation 
— written without the fear of the philoso- 
phers before the eyes of the author, and 
most certainly sufficiently in defiance of 
them. Thus we find ' Syllogistic proof of 
an outer world will never be gained, nor 
yet syllogistic proof that a God exists or 
listens to prayer '(p. 92.) And we 'can 
no more prove that Will is not mere De- 
sire, than 1 can prove that it is God's in- 
fluence and not my own which 1 feel with- 

and has declined, at my request, to Remove 
the restriction, I have been unable to pub- 
lish it. But these passages are equally a 
reply to it. 

(To be continued.) 


Our ^3Iatf0im. 

From trhieh any earnest opponent may controvert our opinions, and from which any may expound Tiews 
not coincident with our own, if tending to the Rationalisation of Theology. 


To the Editor of the Reasoner. 

SiK, — It is an opinion held by many of the orthodox among the Society of 
Friends, that their religioas principles will ultimately prevail, and that all the 
world will become Quakers. That Society never makes any returns of the mem- 
bers, but the estimate for many years has been 20,000. The government census 
details for Sunday, March 31st, 1851, show that not more than 13,400 persons at- 
tended public worship at the Friends' meeting houses in England, Wales, and 
Scotland, on the morning of that day, so that allowing for absentees, invalids, 
and young children, and for the presence of a few non-members, it is probable that 
the Quaker population does not exceed 15,000, which is 5,000 below the usual esti- 
mate. In the last yearly meeting (Congress) of the Society, held in London, May 
1851, John Bright, M.P., spoke impressively on the state of the Society, and ex- 
pressed his belief that in fifty years there would not be friends enough to form a 
yearly meeting. A member, well versed in the Society's statistics, stated, in the 
yearly meeting of 1850, that from the proportion of the sexes known in some of 
the largest meetings, it appeared that there were in the society about eleven females 
to seven males, ^'e have here a society of men, acknowledged to stand high for 
their morality, wealth, philanthropy, industry, and general intelligence, and yet 
with all these essentials towards becoming great and numerous, there is a manifest 
dwindling in numbers, and an unsatisfactory sexual disproportion. The cause of 
the latter may perhaps be found in the fact, that Quakers forbid, under pain of 
excommunication, marriage with any but the members of their own body, and that 
the men choose a good wife upon other principles than those of religion. The 
number of persons expelled and resigning membership yearly, is very consider- 
able; and both these are by far most frequent among the male sex; those admitted 
as new members from convincement are very few indeed. The hollowness that 
pervades Christian sects is nowhere more evident than in the Society of Friends, 
and well known to many of its members ; a firm faith in the essential goodness of 
human nature, rather than its depravity,as professed, a practical belief in the value 
and importance of morality, and a knowledge that the outside shams of re- 
ligion may be kept up, without saying much about them, will probably ensure the 
existence of Quakerism some years longer; but when the day arrives that every 
man may as fearlessly express his religious opinions as his scientific belief, the 
past will be regarded with astonishment, and the mummeries that we have united 
in upholding by a dumb show will be tried by Rationalism, and assigned a place 
only in the history of the things that were. Thus much from one who has the 
means of knowing the truth. Q. Q. 


Sib, — I think I have occasionally noticed trains of reasoning and forms of ex- 
pression in the Reasoner, showing that you ought to adopt a diflferent symbol of 
your views than the word atheist — taking that to import 'there is no God,' which 
you cannot affirm of your own knowledge, unless you have higher gifts than others, 
or it has been revealed unto you. 


Cannot you find a term that will truly mark the distinction between deism and 
that corrected view which — if I rightly infer the state of your mind — would now 
limit your affirmation to this, that you do not see sufficient evidence of the ex- 
istence of God ? 

What's in a name ? Much, in theology — men must label their faith that it 
may be conveniently referred to; it is therefore important to truthful and just 
dealing with their thoughts, that the word used should correctly signify the views 

Put this into the waste basket, or print it, as you please, but think of the subject, 
and whether the word ' Secularist ' would not convey a more correct idea of your 
phase of faith than ' Atheist!' 

June 1851. Edward Seabch. 

[In the lecture once promised to be reported, on the * Martinean and Atkinson 
Letters,' which, however, provincial duties compelled the omission of, the applica- 
ability to us of the word Secularist was dwelt upon — and the sense in which 
I Secularism is peculiarly the work we have always had in hand, and how it is larger 
than Atheism, and includes it, was explained. In the ' Case stated between Atheism 
and Theism,' the subject of an essay in preparation, Mr. Holyoake will enter into 
the question. — Ed.] 


Sir, — The Tracts in Nos. 1 and 2, Vol. XI., show that the Hebrew religion is 
derived from the Egyptian — can the writer show the origin of the Egyptian ? 
Have not all religions their origin in sun worship? consequently are sun worship 
still, though the worshippers may be ignorant of it. The fact is that Jesus Christ 
is the man in the sun, and I am not certain that Moses was not when his face 
shone so that the people could not look on it. N. S. 

We take the following curious letter from the Nation of June 7th. It is ad- 
dressed to the editor of that paper : — 

Sir, — In the article on this subject, by an Irish antiquary, in your last publication, 
it is stated that the pagans worshipped in ' groves," which, no doubt, they did ; the 
groves, like other interesting places, having their tutelary deities. But the ' grove' 
of the scriptures, as quoted, is certainly not a grove of trees, but an object within 
the temple, and of such a character that the Jews associated with it ideas of ob- 
scenity, as will easily appear from the following, among other texts : — ' They have 
made to themselves groves to provoke the Lord.' — Douay Bible, 3 Kings, xiv., 16. 
If a grove of trees were meant, the expression would be, ' they have planted, «fec.,' 
but it was something made or fabricated. 

' They built themselves groves on every high hill, and under every green tree.' — 
lb., xxiii., 2. How could they make ' groves ' under ' green trees V 

'And he took the effeminate out of the land, and removed all the filth of the idols 
moreover, he removed his mother Macha from being the princess in the sacri- 
fices of Priapus and in the grove which she had consecrated to him.'-r-Ib., xv., 13. 
The following text is decisive : — ' He caused the grove to be carried out from the 
house of the Lord, and burned it at the brook Cedron, and reduced it to dust ! he 
also destroyed the pavilions of the effeminate, for which the women wove, as it were, 
littU dwellings for the grove.'— 4 Kings, xxiii., 9, 7- 


Here it is manifest that the ' grove ' was an image within the temple, and that 
the women wrought little dwellings or shrines for it. The Hebrew word translated 
'grove ' in our Bibles is ashra, and that does not mean a grove of trees. It was 
probably a small portable wooden round tower, intended to represent a phallus, a 
prominent object in the depraved theology of the Phoenicians and Greeks. 

Cork, June 2, 1851. C 


We read in the Whitehaven Herald, of June 7th, that on Thursday, June 5, ' Before 
George Harrison and John Peile, Esqrs., and the Rev. F. W. Wicks, Charles 
Flinn, miner, was charged with beating James Hughan, a street lecturer, and with 
knocking him down in Strand Street. This assault, and the manner in which it 
originated, has been the subject of no little discussion and excitement amongst the 
working classes during the past week. It appeared that the complainant Hughan, 
who in religious profession is a Unitarian, gave a lecture " On Progression," at 
the end of the Bulwark on Monday evening last, when he was surrounded by groups 
of idlers, who seemed disposed to make merry with the lecture. Having made use 
of certain derogatory expressions respecting the divinity of the Founder of Christi- 
anity, he was presently handed down from the pile of timber logs from which he 
was addressing the crowd, and subjected to not very ceremonious treatment. Some 
of his friends took his part, and wished to obtain a hearing for him, which others 
resisted, and the affair speedily assumed the aspect of a general row, and had at one 
time a very alarming appearance, there being, it is calculated, not less than a 
thousand people present. During this disturbance it was that, according to com- 
plainant's charge, Flinn and some others struck and knocked him down. Flinn 
denied the charge, and said the complainant was not fit to take an oath, as he did 
not believe in the Bible : he said the row was a general one, and that he was 
knocked down himself, and if the complainant had been knocked down by him it 
had been accidentally. Two witnesses were called to prove that the lecturer was 
ill-used by Flinn; but the magistrates considered that complainant himself had 
been greatly to blame by inciting to a breach of the public peace. The Superin- 
tendent of Police said that unless the magistrates put a stop to these discussions 
on the Bulwark, some one would be murdered : be had sent a number of men down 
on the occasion, and they had enough to do to protect the complainant, as there 
was a mob at the time of at least eight or ten hundred people. The magistrates 
told the complainant that his conduct had been highly culpable, and therefore they 
should dismiss the case, which they did, and requested the Superintendent of Police 
to put a stop to such proceedings in future.' 

If we are rightly informed Mr. Flinn has been twice in prison for assaults — 
dangerous assaults — and is, therefore, a person to whom public encouragement, of 
his peculiar line of exertion, should not be extended without some clear reason 
being shown. Mr. Flinn being a Catholic, is likely to take offence at that which 
another species of Christian would not, and this ought to be borne in remem- 
brance before the public agree with the magistrate, that Mr. Hughan's 'conduct 
was highly culpable.' We have thought that one of the objects of law was to 
prevent men (whether provoked or not) from attempting assaults at caprice, and 


executing their own judgments under the excitement of pnssion and prejudice- 
To this end reference is provided to the magistrate, in whose impartiality and 
justice protection may be found. But here, although we have the Rev. F. W. 
Wicks upon the bench, the magistrates agree to set aside the evidence of two 
witnesses, who testify to Flinn's assault, on the ground that Mr. Hughan had in- 
cited a breach of the peace. This is strange law. Why, if Mr. Hughan had 
* incited,' it might have mitigated the sentence, but it could not prevent Flinn's 
conviction, unless the town of Whitehaven is to be abandoned to lynch law, or, to 
what seems the same — Flinn law. Is the public speaker to consult every man 
present, from the Catholic downwards, what he shall say before he speaks? If not, 
why do the magistrates attach the blame to Hughan, and acquit Flinn? Instead 
of this bench lending the protection of the law to those whose lives are endan- 
gered, we shall not be surprised one day at finding the bench imprisoning a man 
because he has had the misfortune to be assaulted, for it seems that the assaulted, 
and not the assaulter, is the only ' party greatly to blame,' or ' highly culpable.' A 
letter appears in the Whitehaven Herald, of June 14, the purpose of which is to 
show that the conscience of the infidel being difierent from that of the Christian, 
t« not to he respected. If our friends in Whitehaven can so arrange it, I shall en- 
deavour to go down and explain this matter, and see also whether, by a memorial 
to the magistrates for a re-hearing of the case (Hughan v. Flinn), or by memorial 
to the Home Secretary, some new decision cannot be had. 

G. J. H. 


Wb have just issued the Eighteenth Thousand of this essay. Indebted to our 
readers for attention in circulating, fresh efforts have been made to render it ac- 
ceptable and reliable. It has been printed in new type, and on better paper. The 
new type, besides being clearer, affords somewhat more space, which has been 
occupied by a needful amplification of one argument, in the second part. The 
paragraph on p. 15, beginning in the sixteenth edition ' The greatest aphorism,' 
etc., now stands thus : — 

* The greatest aphorism ascribed to Christ, called his Golden Rule, tells us that 
we should do unto others as we would others should do unto us. It is not moral 
audacity, but a logical and legitimate application of this maxim to say that if men 
shall eventually stand before the bar of God, God will not pronounce upon any that 
appalling sentence, " Cast them into outer darkness : there shall be weeping and 
gnashing of teeth;" because this will not be doing to others as he, in the same 
situation, would wish to be done unto himself. If frail man is to " do good to them 
that hate him," God, who is said to be also Love, will surely not burn those who, 
in their misfortune and blindness, have erred against him. He who is above us 
all in power will be also above us all in magnanimity.' 

Profiting by criticism, to which it has been subjected, every page has been 
revised where a sentence appeared that could be punctuated for the better, freed 
from any ambiguity, or rendered with more strength and exactness. It is now in 
a permanent form, and any who care to preserve it will find the new edition the 

G.J. H 



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A CO-RESPONDENT, who does not favour us with his name or address, sends a 
letter in which he says — ' From curiosity I purchased one day a number of your 
periodical, and have since read several. The effect has been that I am more firmly 
imbued with Christian principles than ever — your irrational publication has really 
strengthened my faith. Cease writing, I conjure you, if you wish to preserve 
infidelity on earth. Write as much as you like, if you feel desirous of sjrt-eading 
Christianity.' As this gentleman doubtless believes what he himself says, we shall 
expect from him a handsome subscription to the Reasoner Fund. As a consistent 
Christian, he can hardly refuse his support to one who so ' strengthens the faith.' 

A correspondent in Accrington writes : — * All my friends interested in the 
Reasoner have left the town, but strangers who have come to the town more 
than fill their places. Much depends on agents and booksillers. If booksellers 
expose the Reasoner for sale, it gives encouragement to the timid who wish to read 
it, but dare not. Many meetings have been held by those interested in Sunday 
schools, to find out the cause of more than three-fourths of the young men leaving 
the school. It is difficult to keep a,fir$t class — called the young men's class. Our 
Mechanics' Institution goes on well — there is a good attendance of young men. At 
one of the meetings of the members of the Institution, the defective system of 
Sunday school teaching was pointed out — three-fourths of the yoang men being 
absent — and provisions were made to enable young men to attend the Institution 
on Sunday evenings from 5 to 10 o'clock, for the purpose of reading the news- 
papers, monthlies, and books from the library. The attendance on Sunday 
evening is very good.' 

Mr. "Watson is at present in Cumberland, where it is ho|^ed the change of air 
will fully re-establish his health, 

Mr, Martin manifests signs of restoration to health, Mrs, Martin, we are very 
glad to report, begins to present hopes of recovery. 

The New Monthly Wrapper appears with the Monthly Parts this day. 

The tracts on * Church Authority ' and ' Christian Missions,' published by 
Israel Holdsworth, will, if opportunity offers, be quoted in part or whole, 

J. W. C. wishes to see an essay on the * Art and Details of Progress.' In some 
of the papers in course of publication in the Reatoner he will meet with something 
of the kind, 

' At the last meeting of the town-council,' says the Reading Mercury, ' Mr. 
James complained of the high charge of £2. 5s, for the crier's hat. He also 
wished to take that opportunity of saying that the crier ought not, at the end of 
each cry, to say " God save the Queen." It was very improper. — The Mayor : 
Say?— Mr. James: "God save the Queen." (A laugh.)— The late Mayor: I 
always say "Amen " when I hear him. (Laughter.) — Mr. James : It onght not be 
suffered. It is blasphemy.' 

Under the head of ' A Decided Dissenter,' the Nonconformist, of Jane 11th, 
quoted that — 'A poor woman who attended a Dissenting chapel not far from 
Wiveliscombe, was continually teased by the parish priest to attend the " Trtte 
Church.' lu the warmth of her attachment to her scriptural worship, and to rid 
herself of the annoyance, she exclaimed, " Sir, if you put me on that church tower, 
and starve me to death, I'd still go to meeting I" ' 

London: Printed by Holvoake Brothers, 3, Queen's Head Pa«sage, Paternoster-row; and Published 
by J. Watson, 3, Queen's Head Passage, Paternoster-row.— Wednesday, June 25th, 1861. 





They who believe that they have Truth ask no favour, save that of beini; heard: they dare the 
judgment of flfankind : refused Co-operation, they invoke Opposition, for Opposition is their 
Opportunity. — Editor. 


The first three of the Glasgow lectures were delivered in the Unitarian Chapel, 
Union Street — the chapel in which the Rev. George Harris long officiated. At the 
members' meetings at which my admission to the occupancy of the pulpit was 
discussed, the votes, I was informed, were equal, and that the casting vote ^yhich 
decided the question in my favour was given by the chairman, the Rev. Charles 
Clarke. I have often had to acknowledge the courtesy and friendliness of the 
Unitarian Christians ; but this is the most remarkable instance that I have yet 
met with. Though the arguments such persons may use may not win our convic- 
tion, their conduct cannot fail to command our respect. 

The lectures in the chapel were upon Chartist Leaders, Science of Socialism, and 
Secular Education. No one can say there is no opposition to be had in Glasgow 
— there is one man who opposes everybody and everything. I suppose there is 
some one of this vocation in most Scotch towns : I heard of one in Dundee who 
opposes everybody, and himself too, as he sometimes disproves his own case, with 
a view, as he says, to be impartial. Mr. Adams, of Glasgow, is a Chartist and 
something more ; but what that something is, is very undefined, and though 
Adams is always trying to define it he never does. Perhaps he is a Swedenborgian 
— perhaps a Gnostiq, but the only thing of which you are sure is, that he will be 
your opponent. All things are proverbially uncertain but one, at least in Glas- 
gow. The ' Old Guards ' of Nottingham's great commander might storm Gorbals 
— steam vessels might sail pleasure trips on a Lord's day in Caledonia — the Tide 
might refuse to come up the Clyde on a Sunday out of respect to the Sabbath — 
there is no knowing what may happen; but one thing always happens, and that is 
an opposition speech from friend Adams. Yet Adams is an honest fellow, and 
capable of making a useful speech; but he makes himself so common that he 
destroys his own influence, and the people look upon him as a man to be endured, 
when with more judgment he would be esteemed. If he would take sides clearly, 
and moderately advocate one set of views, he would be a useful and even an effec- 
tive man. 

What he said on this occasion was not very striking. He can do better. On 
one night he wanted to know whether if women were not property they would not 
be every man's mistress ? I had been saying that the time would come when it 
would be thought more disreputable that women should be held as property than 
it was now thought disreputable that the negroes should be held as property by 
American slaveholders. But when women were no longer man's property, Adams 
could not see that they would be their own property, and that independence once 
accomplished, the refinement and purity of a woman's nature would always keep 
her from pollution. A coarse or sensual man could not look up in the presence of 
a woman of a cultivated and pure nature. A glance of such a woman's eye is 

tNo. 266.] LNo. 7, Vol. XI.] 




enough for her protection when she is free. Her degradation always comes 
through her dependence. But all the objectors to communism assume that woman 
has neither purity, independence, nor strength, by which she could stand alone; 
that she will always be the victim or the toy. I hope these objectors will all live 
to find out their mistake. 

If Paisley be 'cheerie,' as they say down there — if it be a good place for plea- 
sure, Glasgow is the place for instruction. Their 'cuteness is, to use a descriptive 
of the district, ' awful.' If they do come out in debate, they do it publicly and 
privately (for one way does not satisfy them) ; they put a critical razor in every 
muscle of you. 1 am, at the present moment, absolutely in Kantean slices — as 
thin as those off a Vauxhall ham. My fourth lecture was commenced soon after 
eight, in the Lyceum Rooms. It was close and crowded, and for three hours I was 
like a Whig's reputation — in a dissolving state. Some time after eleven we broke up 
— no, adjourned. The debate of the night closed about half-past one. At the end 
I wa? in syllogistic pieces, and asked for a cab to convey my remains home, and I 
went to bed in intellectual fragments, and it was dinner time the next day before 
I had finished putting myself together again. Those who like these processes as 1 
do, enjoy them throughout. Ideas reassorted are often susceptible of a better \ 
arrangement — the parts of the argumentative machinery frequently admit of new 
fitnesses, and the parts found to fit nowhere come to be thrown aside. 

We celebrated Mr. Owen's birth-day in Glasgow, by a public tea party on Satur- 
day evening. In Paisley it was celebrated at eleven o'clock at night in the Wilson 
Hall, and the party I attended in Dundee was unable to assemble till midnight, 
when we drank the old gentleman's health in lemonade, not even coffee was attain- 
able at so late an hour. The bill announcing the tea party in Glasgow, named a 
joint object of ' honouring ' me as well. To this I demurred, on the ground that 
none of us were worthy to be mentioned at the same time — that all the honour we 
could offer was due to Mr. Owen himself. It was a suflBcient gratification to me to 
have the privilege of being present on such an occasion. The speakers appointed 
to refer to me I requested not to do it, and they obliged me. Mr. Millar, as one 
formerly belonging to my educational classes, claimed the liberty to make some 
acknowledgments, which he did in a graceful and manly manner, without one word 
of hyperbole. Mr. Dodds, who presided, and Mr. Donne, restricted themselves to 
the topic of the evening. After I left, a lady spoke with considerable effect. 

On the Sunday night, when the lecture in the Communist Hall (a neat interior) 
was over, I named three children — 

Elizabeth Smith, John Andrew Smith, Jean Millar ; 

accompanied by a short address upon what was in the power of parents (of what- 
ever means) to do towards the formation of the characters of children, as respects 
truth, purity, courtesy, and courage. G. J. Holyoake. 



[Partridge and Oakey, upon one of whose publications we had lately to animad- 
vert, have published a volume, entitled * Pen Pictures of Popular English 
Preachers.' The language is full of alliterations— that is, of series of words 
beginning with the same letters, a habit which is commonly deemed a childish one 
of affectation in writing. The tone of the book is of great levity ; and the com- 
parisons are mostly coarse. If we had written such a book, we should have been 


thought intentionally offensive to the preachers and congregations noticed. The 
book has, also, the distasteful quality of fulsomeness. Many of the clergy men- 
tioned must feel mortification at it; but they have not, so far as I can learn, made 
any objection to the book. Dryden, when he wished to mark the descent of poetry, 
began with Spenser and ended with Flecno : in the same way, the descent of 
clerical pen portraiture may be indicated, by beginning with Gilfillan and ending 
with the author of this book — who may be described as a very bad Gilfillan. 
These ' Sketches,' by the way, are dedicated to ' Susanna,' by the 'Author of the 
Life of Chatterton.' As we have not the honour of knowing the author's name, we 
shall, on quoting from his performance, specify it as ' Partridge and Oakey 's English 
Preachers.' The extracts we shall quote are such as contain anecdotes which may 
interest those readers who may like to learn something personally of men, upon 
whose writings we have often to comment. The peculiarities of manner and 
opinion described in this work we suppose are reliable, as Partridge and Oakey, 
being religious publishers, have no doubt satisfied themselves that they do not 
libel their patrons. The pruned selections we may present, will also be made from 
parts which are best expressed, as respects taste and style, and from which we shall 
omit all we can which there may be reason to think the divines themselves would 
omit, were they dictating the quotations. — Ed.] 

The Scotch Church, Crown Court, Drury Lane, is a large oblong building ; a 
gallery deep and commodious running round one of the long and two of the short 
sides — the pulpit being placed in the centre of the other long side. The only 
national emblems to be seen are thistle-shaped ground glass shades of the gas-lights, 
and a thistle or two in the painted glass windows. In all other respects the place 
resembles an English dissenting chapel. 

How densely the church is crowded — and how aristocratic appears the congre- 
gation! We are prepared for the 'quality," by the glimpse we just now had out- 
side of luxurious-looking carriages, with strawberry-leaved coronets on their panels. 

Near the pulpit, on its left side, and in a secluded place under the gallery, sits 
a gentleman and lady with two little children. The gentleman is of diminutive 
stature — his head is large, and thinly covered with dark brown hair, which care- 
lessly sweeps across his capacious forehead. His eyes are keen and cold, the nose 
longish and Slightly turned up at 'ts point, the mouth thin-lipped and compressed. 
Two apologies for whiskers appear jnst below the prominent cheek bones. As a 
whole, the countenance is indicative of intellectual acquirements, but it wants 
energy of expression, or rather the expression of energy. There is something of 
insignificance about it. But its owner is no insignificant personage — for the little 
man who sits so quietly in that shaded pew, is the Prime Minister of England — 
Lord John Russell, and those who sit beisde him are his wife and children. 

Not far from the Premier is to be observed a gentleman, tall and robust-looking. 
His face is florid and plump. He resembles a well-to-do country gentleman, 
rather than a member of the titled aristocracy. Nevertheless he is a Lord. It is 
Lord Ducie, an amiable nobleman enough, we believe, but who is not likely to 
rival Brougham. He is a regular attendant on Dr. Cumming's ministry. 

' Beautiful exceedingly ' is the singing at the Scotch Church. There is no 
organ; but it is evident that the choir requires not the aid of that king of musical 
instruments. Never have we heard better congregational singing than at Dr. 
Cumming's. Clear and distinct in its silvery sweetness was one female voice, 
which reminded us of that of Jenny Lind : and, we have since heard that the lady 


to •whom it belongs is generally known as the Nightingale of Crown Court Church. 
The psalm of praise and thankfulness has ceased — the congregation are seated, 
and the minister of the place ascends the stairs which lead to the pulpit. 

The prayer commences. It is an extemporaneous one, and, as all prayers should 
be, it is deeply fervent and devotional. We have, before now, been absolutely dis- 
gusted with some exercises of this kind ; for there are ministers whom we aould 
name who have a vile habit of talking at God, instead of praying to him. They 
exhibit a familiarity when addressing the Deity which painfully affects many who 
hear them. John Foster, one of the profoundest thinkers of the age, pointedly 
refers to this practice, and severely reprobates it in his Essay ' On the Aversion 
of men of taste to Evangelical Religion.' Dr. Cumming's prayer was a model of 
its kind ; there were no tiresome repetitions — no daring approaches to the Divine 
presence — no presumptuous requests. All was solemnity, humility, and devotion ; 
and the fervent aspirations of the Creature to its Creator. 

The prayer is ended. Another hymn has been sung, and the preacher rises to 
commence his discoarse. He is of the middle height, perhaps rather above it, but 
attired as he is in clerical robes, one is apt to be deceived in such a matter, which, 
after all, is not of any great importance, if we agree with Dr. Watts that the ' mind 
is the standard of the man.' Dr. Cumming's face is a fine one. A glance at it 
I might convince any ordinary observer that it belongs to one whose mind is not of 
the common stamp. Look at that high, broad forehead, across which dark, very 
I dark hair sweeps, revealing the ample temples, and behind that barrier of bone 
you will feel assured is a brain of uncommon capacity. Two eyebrows, large, well- 
arched, and black, overshadow a pair of dark eyes, of a serious and fearless ex- 
pression. The nose is slightly aquiline — but not large, and on it perpetually rests 
a pair of spectacles, from which we may infer that much study has somewhat im- 
paired his visual organs, however much it may have sharpened his critical per- 
ceptions. Some one has said, and I think with truth, that the mouth is a far more 
expressive feature than the eyes. In Dr. Cumming's case such is the fact: the 
upper lip is thin, but well shaped, the lower one somewhat fuller than its fellow. 
This feature is very expressive; at times a half-smile plays upon and around it, 
but it generally has a tinge of melancholy about it. The complexion of the 
countenance is dark, and large black whiskers from the lateral boundaries of the 
face. Such is the personal appearance, so {:^r as we can convey an idea of it, of the 
Pastor of the Crown Court Scotch Church. 

Opening a little Bible which he hol(^3 with both hands, Dr. Cumming com- 
mences his discourse, by reading from it his text. Very clear and musical is his 
voice. Although by no means loud, it can be heard with the utmost distinctness 
in the most distant part of the church, and consequently, as there is no shuffling 
and leaning forward to catch the, sounds, the most perfect stillness roigns. With- 
out a single preliminary ' hem,' or a moment's pause for the purpose of collecting 
his ideas, he at once commences the elucidatir.n of his theme; and before he has 
uttered half a dozen sentences, it is evident enough that all his matter has been care- 
fnlly arranged beforehand. There is not the slightest hesitation, his words and ideas 
flow forth like a clear continuous stream, and they are as transparent too. The 
eloquence of some ministers resembles the course of a mountain torrent — now with 
difficulty threading narrow ravines — now expanding in a calm, lake-like expanse, 
reflecting the loveliness of the skies — anon rushing and roaring over precipices 
and rocky barriers ; and dancing in sunlight through verdurous plains, and mossy- 
winding ways. Such orators startle by similes, attract by antitheses, and charm 



by variety. Not such is the character of Dr. Cumming's oratory. From the 
moment he commences his discourse, until the concluding sentence passes his 
lips, the current of his eloquence flows on calmly and untroubled. There are no 
passionate out-bursts — no succeeding passages of pathos — little to dazzle — less to 
startle — nothing to bewilder; — all is clear, calm, and convincing. With his little 
Bible in his hand, or more frequently in both hands, as we before intimated, he 
generally commences by plunging at once into his subject, not by making any 
lengthened introductory remarks. His voice, which but slightly informs us of his 
northern origin, is remarkably pleasant, and indeed musical. Seldom does it rise 
or sink above or below the key in which he commences his discourse, yet, as might 
be expected by strangers, the effect is not monotonous, for every sentence is ad- 
mirably balanced, each period carefully rounded, and almost every tone is ad- 
mirably modulated. "When hearing Dr. Gumming, one is reminded of the des- 
cription of ' Silver-tongued Smith,' one of the celebrated preachers of Elizabeth's 
time. But though the subject of our sketch is truly ' silver-tongued,' the solem- 
nity, at times almost the severity of his manner preserves him from anything like 
tameness. Dr. Cumming's manner in the pulpit is pleasing. He seldom uses 
any other action than a gentle waving of the hand, or the turning from one part of 
his congregation to the other. He is no cushion-thumper, and depends for effect 
more upon what he says, than on the graces of action. Not that he is ungraceful 
at all — far from thnt; what we mean is, that he is in this respect directly the op- 
posite of those pulpic-fops who flourish their bordered pieces of inspiration-lawn in 
the pulpit, and throw themselves in such attitudes, as com pels one to believe that the 
looking glass is almost as essential a preparation for the pulpit as the Bible itself. 
Dr. Gumming is a very voluminous author. His style as a writer resembles 
that of his oral productions. The sale of his works is productive of large sums ; 
so that, what with the salary derived from his rich congregation, and profits of 
his literary productions, his income must be large. 


At the large and interesting Unitarian meeting at the Freemasons' Tavern, on 
June 13th, for the purpose of deliberating on the duty of English Unitarians in 
reference to the part taken by their American brethren about the Fugitive Slave 
Law, the Rev. J. G. Robberds, of Manchester Gollege, said—' He was rejoiced that 
Theodore Parker's name was amc^g those mentioned in the resolution moved by 
Mr. Armstrong, from the very noble way in which he had stood forward against 
the Fugitive Slave Law; and, theJhgh differing much from his theological sen- 
timents, he had taken an early opportunity of declaring from the pulpit his 
deep admiration of the manner in which Mr. Parker had publicly and solemnly 
protested against the above abominable law.' The rev. gentleman added emphati- 
cally — ' There is no man in America whom, for his conduct on that occasion, 
I would rather welcome to my pulpit, my home, and my heart.' — Inquirer, 
June 21, 1851. It may not be out of place to mention here a chivalrous act 
(recently quoted by the Inquirer from an American paper), in which Theodore 
Parker took part a few weeks ago. When the authorities of Boston refused per- 
mission to Daniel Webster to hold a meeting in Festival Hall, for the purpose of 
defending the Fugitive Slave Law, alleging that disturbances (it is to be pi-esumed, 
from the Abolitionists) would be sure to take place, a number of the Abolitionists, 
among whom Theodore Parker was one, signed a letter to the magistrates, request- 
ing that their opponent might be allowed to give the public explanation of his 
views which he desired, offering themselves to suppress all disturbance that might 
be imagined to arise in consequence. The authorities (to the best ot my remem- 
brance) refused the request. Panthea. 



dByKmlnatian ai ti)e press. 

An Edifsing Examination. — In the inquest at Lewes the boy Boakes, who, 
according to bis mother's evidence, had expressed a suspiciously-extreme desire to 
see the train go by, having been put into the witness-box, the Coroner commenced 
a line of examination which would have been suitable if the object had been to ex- 
clude the boy's testimony, or if the place had been the school-house instead of a 
court of justice, and the business an inquiry into Boakes's religious education. J. 
E. Boakes was put into the witness box. The Coroner. — Suppose you do not speak 
the truth, do you know what will become of you ? The boy said nothing, and 
began to cry. The Coroner. — Do you go to church and say your catechism ? Boy. 
Yes. The Coroner. — Do you know that there is a God who punishes those who 
speak falsely? The boy again began to cry, and the jury, interfering, said they 
were of opinion that he ought not to be examined. The boy having been perplexed, 
confounded, and frightened by the questions so learnedly put, and so germain to 
the fact whether he had put a sleeper on the rail, the jury, not less wise than the 
Coroner, were forthwith of opinion that he ought not to be examined, and that 
justice must dispense with the evidence. On a subsequent day, however, he was 
again placed in the witness-box, it being clear that in the meanwhile he had been 
under special tuition and training as to the replies to be made to the questions 
touching the nature of an oath. The Coroner. — Since you were here on Saturday 
has any one instructed you on the nature of an oath ? Boy. — No, The Coroner. — 
Have you been told what it is to take an oath ? Boy. — No. The Coroner.— you 
go to school, and has any gentleman explained the meaning of an oath to you ? 
Boy. — No, Sir. The Coroner. — 1 think you are mistaken. Do you know Mr. 
Green, the clergyman of St. Ann's ? Boy. — Yes. The Coroner. — Has he spoken 
to you about taking an oath ? Do you know it is right to speak the truth ? Boy. — 
Yes. The Coroner. — And if you do not speak the truth do you know what will 
become of you ? Boy. — Go to hell. The Coroner.— There, gentlemen, I think 
that will do. How old are you, boy? Boy. — Ten, Sir. The boy was then sworn. 
— ' Do you know what will become of you ?' ' Go to hell.' * There, gentlemen, 
I think that will do,' says the satisfied, triumphant Coroner. * Go to hell ' was the 
passport to the Court, ' go to hell ' opened its ears, ' go to hell ' cleared the way to 
its credit, ' go to hell ' was of excellent acceptation, * go to hell ' was a guarantee 
for all that was required ; and well might the Coroner rub his hands and chuckle, 
'There, gentlemen, I think that will do!' l-he boy was in a state of grace. To 
be sure, in the three preceding replies he had stated what was not true, that, since 
his previous examination, he had not been instructed as to the nature of an oath, 
and that no gentleman had explained it to him ; but what mattered this specimen 
of his veracity, and the value of his evidence, when it appeared that he had so 
distinct an understanding of the road that lay before him ? The Coroner did not 
say * a boy who cannot tell the truth about so simple a fact as the instruction he 
has received within the week is an untrustworthy witness,' but in effect ' It 
signifies not that he has, from stupidity or mendacity, denied what is true, his 
answer that he is to go to hell if he does not speak the truth is a sufficient pledge 
for his credibility.— .£^a;amner, No. 2,264. 

A Fact for Cardinal Wiseman.— On Sunday, the 30th ult., Father Mick 
cursed the parents of the poor children who attend the Protestant school at Bangor, 
and cursed any person who dared even to speak to them. — Ballina Chronicle, 





[CJoncluded from last number.] 

Ip, however, the argument of design was 
established, it would have no practical 
value unless we could discover the will of 
God. But here again logical inference af- 
fords us no help. For, as far as material 
nature is concerned, moral considerations 
are, as far as we know, uniformly over- 
borne by mechanical ones. God acts by 
general laws, and Mr. Newman properly 
concludes that ' God's moral tkoughts can 
no more be detected in the detailed actions 
of material objects, than the affections of 
the watchmaker by inspecting a watch.' 
Thus what is called the design argument 
rests upon the intuitive perception of fit- 
nesses, which indicate, but do not logically 
prove, design — and thus the intellect must 
doubt while the soul may believe. 

For Mr. Newman to represent us as being 
of defective nature, or as suff'ering intel- 
lectual privation, is a less serious allegation 
than at first sight it appears ; it is not a 
privation not to see as Mr. Newman sees, 
unless he sees something important which 
we cannot. By the aid of Mr. Newman's 
book, we are now able to see all that he 
sees; and, as it fails to satisfy us, we, in 
our turn^ might with as much propriety 
assume Mr. Newman to be suffering from 
some privation in not being able to see its 
want of validity. 

An octagenarian atheist, to whom I men- 
tioned Mr. Newman's accusation that we 
were deprived of a sense, answered, ' Ah 
and he is right, too. Faith is another 
sense. There is no mistake about it. Faith 
is that sense which enables a man to see 
what is not.' 

Mr. Newman rests his entire theory of 
religion, not upon any logical proof, but 
upon the popular — and, as he calls it, 
instinctive — belief in a self-determining 
Will, which, except we adopt, we cannot 
act wisely or well (p. 122). ' If there be no 
such will in us, it is still useful for practice 
to believe that there is, and the man who 
most knows the truth is then most likely to 
act foolishly. This is so intense a paradox 
as to confirm most people in their convic- 
tion that there is a self-moving will in us.' 
The answer to this is easy to the thought- 
ful, and to those accustomed to introspec- 

Yet it is clear that innumerable people do 
act wisely and well without any practical 
belief in a self- moving will. The judge 
before he tries a case, and the jury before 
they hear it, have no will upon the subject. 
Both wait for evidence, and the verdict and 
the sentence are determined alone by evi- 
dence and by law. Those who take this 
view of the human will Mr. Newman says 
ought logically to be atheists. Atheism, 
therefore, erected on necessarian ground, 
is a logical system. 

On this subject my own feelings and 
convictions are in strange contrast with 
those of Mr. Newman. He is able to re- 
cognise the presence of Supreme ruling 
mind only through the existence of Free 
Will. The presence of government in in- 
telligence, of law in mind, is to him the 
symbol of atheism and moral anarchy. 
While to me Free Will seems the synonym 
of chaos in nature, of disorder in ethics, of 
confusion in life. I see the influence men 
can exert on society, and that life is a cal- 
culable process. But why is it so ? There 
my curiosity is baffled, and my knowledge 
ends. In vain I look back, hoping to un- 
ravel that mysterious destiny with which 
we are all so darkly bound. That is the 
channel through which all my conscious- 
ness seems to pass out into a sea of wonder, 
and if ever the orient light of deity breaks in 
on me, it will, I think, come in that direc- 
tion. The presence of law in mind, is to 
me the greatest fact in theology. But no 
gleam of such truth will ever come through 
the churches. All churches unite to deny 
it. I am afraid the secret is in the grave. 
The most important objection to this theory 
of Necessity is that Mr. Newman regards it 
as being fatal to morals as well as religion. 
But morality, in its every possible develop- 
ment, recognises, as he himself explains it 
(p. 25), ' both interest and duty as leading 
ends of action ;' and the necessarian is 
more likely to discern, calculate, and fol- 
low out these ends than the man of free 
will, who is bound to disregard conse- 
quences upon the principle of his assumed 
mental constitution. 

It is not necessary, after these results are 
arrived at, to debate with Mr. Newman his 
doctrine of goodness in connection with 



the question of the Origin of Evil, or his 
theory of Wisdom and Reverence, except 
to say, with respect to the last, that we 
hope it may be allowed that reverence for 
virtue and genius may exist in those who 
are not able to find an object external to 
nature on whom to repose that affection. 

Involved in a struggle for life and liberty, 
partisans of the atheistic theory, which I 
should call that of pure moralism, have 
had few opportunities of dwelling upon the 
discipline of the affections which they, in 
common with the Christian, would seek to 
cherish. Whatever pertains to purity and 
elevation of character, we value as deeply 
as the theist. We fully agree with what 
Mr. Newman so excellently says upon 
these heads. We do not differ on these 
points, except as to the mode of carrying 
them out. Even the sense of sin has with 
us its defined place. Excess is sin, and, 
therefore, all deviations from intellectual 
or physical temperance, is an offence. All 
omissions of duty, or of love, are offences ; 
which, if they do not involve remorse, 
involve contrition— that contrition which 
is expressed by all possible reparation — 
stricter watchfulness and contingent 

What sense of personal relation to God 
can any one have whose understanding is 
bafiledineverunstance to which comprehen- 
sion of the divine existence is attempted ? 
Plainly none. Yet to understanding we 
must come, as we have no other protector 
than that against the extravagance of su- 
perstition. Why religions themselves have 
so often become degenerate, has been that 
iviU has not purified them. Men have not 
seen the improvement of nature and its de- 
pendence on circumstance. 

We lose little, if anything, by the theory 
of Pure Moralism (mere moralism Mr. 
Newman, I fear, would call it) : we gain 
little by that theory of religion which he 
propounds. He is too far-sighted not to 
see, and too frank to withhold the admis- 
sion of the fact, ' that in these days at least 
no miracles are worked for our welfare, and 
there is nothing God can grant us (p. 148) 
except the ideal boon that the Soul may 
never break away from His love.' Except 
in things spiritual, Mr. Newman does not 
pretend that there exists any special provi- 
dence interfering to save us or to guide us. 
Atheism does not leave us more without God 
in the world th:in this representation ; and 
it at least has this merit, that it forewarns 
us by its absolute teachings, and thus fore- 
arms us against despair. Mr. Newman, 
too, gives- the theory of fear and hope of the 

future. In a passage as admirable for its 
courage as its truth, he says — 

' Among ourselves also, beyond a doubt, 
crime is repressed in bold and wicked men, 
only by fear of the visible and present 
judge. Whether hell be in theory believed 
or disbelieved, it has no practical power, 
except over the less hardened. But the 
attempt to turn Religion into a system of 
State Police, is an impiety, whicli inevit- 
ably defeats its own end. Nor less does it 
desecrate divine Hope, to apply it as a 
means of softening the sorrows of the un- 
spiritual. Natural sympathy is far more 
effective for consolation than any of the 
conventional topics, poured forth profes- 
sionally on an uncongenial mind. If Hope 
is to comfort them in their darker, it must 
live with them in their brighter hours; it 
must gush up out of an inward fountain. 
I know it is said, that the poor are made 
more patient by the notion so current 
among them, that in another life they will 
get compensation for the hardships which 
they endure in the present ; but this is to 
buv patience by propagating delusion' (pp. 

We therefore find that human condition 
is to wait on death with that quiet resig- 
nation which flows from innocence and 
fortitude, and with that unpresumptuous 
expectancy which true humility teaches. 

The loss which Mr. Newman represents 
those to sustain who have no sense of per- 
sonal relation to God is less than he sup- 
poses. He thinks that to see in God a 
person is the most energetic mode of realis- 
ing our highest ideal of moral excellence, 
and in clearing the moral sight so that the 
ideal may keep rising, other things being 
equal, a spiritual man will hold a higher 
and purer morality than a mere moralist 
(p. 167). But what he thus gains in sub- 
limity he is in danger of losing in practical 
usefulness. Is not the love of humanity a 
more energetic excitement of the affections 
than the vague ideal of Deity, which has 
no hold upon the understanding? No- 
thing so tends to clear the moral sight 
as a fraternal yet resolute vindication 
of the right among living men ; and 
we are sure that our ideal of excellence 
will always keep rising, as it will grow 
with our experience and expand with our 
knowledge — and hence will become a pure 
enthusiasm overspreading the whole of 
life. If the ideal we are to take for our 
guide be gathered from humanity, the mo- 
ralist and the theist stand on the same 
level, and derive their inspiration of per- 
fection from the same source ; and in the 



respect in which the theist affects to elevate 
his ideal to the skies, he loses in definite- 
ness and verity what he gains by such 
abstract exaltation. To tell us that the 
ideal which is to purify us, must be imagi- 
nary and abstract is surely not defensible. 
W hat is infinite is beside mortals ? A very 
few words spent in distinguishing for adop- 
tion a leading moral principle will fur- 
nish a man with a guide which will deter- 
mine his character, employ his life to real- 
ise, and conduct him to indefinite nobleness 
through the infinite steps of the diversified 
realisations which prolonged years afford. 
How can the affections manifest themselves 
or prove their genuineness except by ser- 
vice of our species? We may distrust all 
spirituality which refuses this proof of its 
worth. Service and endurance are the 
two attributes of cultivated and refined 
moralisin — service, by which loveisproved, 
endurance, by which it is tried. 

We take Conscience, which Mr. New- 
man admits takes the lead of conduct in 
personsof great worth (p. 136). Conscience, 
which is a subject of growth, and amen- 
able to reason. Conscience, which is ca- 
pable, Mr. Newman farther allows, of the 
greatest sacrifices at the call of Duty (p. 
137). Stoicism (it matters little whether 
the name be old or new, provided it sym- 
bolise progressive and rational practice) 
had a true heart in it Mr. Newman allows, 
as the noble Hymn to Jupiter, composed 
by the stoic Cleanthes, shows (p, 136). 
' We do not indeed doubt,' says Mr. New- 
man (p. 157), 'that a man's own self-re- 
spect may make him to choose to die, 
rather than live degraded in his own eyes, 
by deviating from his ideal of right con- 
duct : let earnest stoicism be confessed to 
be noble and honourable ; although it 
makes the mind too exclusively reflective, 
and endangers pride and self-confidence.' 

What of danger may lie in this direction 
ought to be guarded against undoubtedly, 
and we think it can. It certainly seems to 
us that these risks are less momentous than 
those which spring from the other side of 
the question. ' Our first want,' Mr. New- 
man remarks, towards the close of his 
book, p. 215, ' is the expansion of indivi- 
dual life. We need to see and know some- 
thing for ourselves, and to learn to feed 
ourselves spiritually. To be dependent is 
hardly to live.' Where can we look for 
independence so well as to the side of a 
generous Stoicism ? 

In lieu of creeds we have the love of 
Humanity and the study of Nature. We 

rely on the c»ltivation of intelligence and 
the efforts of industry — our security is in 
the integrity of our intentions and the 
kindness of our endeavours — our pleasure 
is in the reverence we offer — our consola- 
tion is in the help we render to inferior 
natures. Laborare est orare — work is our 

Of portions of this book (with which I 
have now done) which seemed to me in- 
structive, I have freely expressed my ap- 
probation ; and in a manner as strongly and 
as emphatically as I could command, I 
have marked my dissent from the unreliant 
tenor of the teachings of Mr. Newman, 
which I think need to be guarded against. 
The want of cogent, substantial argument 
for the support of Mr. Newman's theory 
is so evident, that I trust every one who 
has been a reader thus far, will be induced 
to pause before he accepts Mr. Newman's 
view as the final truth. Many who com- 
prehend no medium between independence 
of opinion and rudeness of retort, will have 
been at a loss to account for the approval 
I expressed in the early part of this re\4ew. 
With many, any agreement whatever is 
considered as a coincidence throughout. 
To consult the temper of such readers 
would condemn a reviewer to perpetual 
hostility to all to whom he was opposed. 
These people would leave to no critic the 
merit of discrimination. Men differ in the 
nature of their opponency as much as they 
do in their stature, speculations, voice, and 
complexion. Not to distinguish and ac- 
knowledge an honourable, able, and manly 
opponent, from the disingenuous, mediocre, 
and cowardly tribe who daily assault us, is 
to deserve condemnation for ever to the 
lowest order of opposition. As respects 
the government, I am accustomed to urge 
that we have no right to invoke public 
opinion upon their injustice, unless we are 
prompt to acknowledge what is generous 
in tendency (however little it may be) 
which now and then they betray. So with 
controversy — as I hate deeply and heartliy 
what I think erroneous, I endeavour 
to preserve my right to enter the distinctest 
protest against it that I am able to put on 
record, by preserving the temper which 
shall make the fairest acknowledgments to 
opponents of that sincerity \vhich I have 
no right to question, and of that ability 
which it were want of capacity not to see, 
want of culture not to feel, want of can- 
dour not to own. 




XTwDWS. I'ae he*i of ' T^e mihor of "^ Alien Locke" :^ the p^ilpii," tie Aca<»»- 
fiirmast reports tiiat ' A v^viiti cA diaciursea on " Ta€ Messa^s of tke Chorch " mre 
in coarse of deiiTery ou San-iaj eT«ii:iz?. al the Chorch of St. Jofaa the Eruigelist, 
Chariocta Street. Flnzroj^^Tiare. The sennoQ Li-t 5an<iaj eTe&iag vai by the 
Ser. C Eiagrigj, a gthc i r of the '^ Sauu*' Trafe«ij,~ " Aitoe Lscke,** aad other 

rfae iiiMBfc, "The Me— yrf the Chw 1 1 to 

fw k« tat Lake z. 16-19. Fna Aia des- 

CTiptiaa >y Cfcrit hiif If rf hi« ■!—■■, the fiiwhri iifarii the priBffpht «rf 

«f Ae Chwih ■■ epm BMe, h^ttan, 

prkti^ the atitewy rale «f kagi^ the 

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"i oaaMaaMMaUe fw the rrafiig Jrti, aad, ae the cu«t'«C'"i'-" 

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fw Ae BMat part Mtrae, aiad aHT^i^ hat vhat he ejected frea the 
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the God of Israel taught men the right rules and principles necessary to aa 
efficient practice of the arts and manufactures ; that he instructed Moses, just as a 
master instructs an apprentice ; and whatever dignity belongs to the practice of 
arts and manufactures is to be attributed to this their supposed heavenly origin. 
Hence the conclusion is come to th;it the atheist must necessarily entertain a low 
conception of * beauty in art,' and of the ' dignity of labour.' 

Vasari, the acc<»mplished Christian painter, who lived about three hundred years 
ago, speaks of the origin of the arts thus : ' Simple children, rudely reared in the 
woods have begun to practice the arts of design with no other model than those 
beautiful pictures and sculptures furnished by nature.' One of our own professors 
of painting, Opie, speaks to the same purpose. He says — ' The rudiments of 
painting appear to me so congenial to the mind of man, that they may almost be 
said to be born with it." Further, speaking of art, he observes — ' Instead of asking 
where it was, I should be inclined to ask where it was not invented, as the more 
difficult question to solve.' Thus, with respect to arts of design, upon respectable 
authority and an appeal to nature herself, we learn that we coincide in opinion 
with the rest of mankind. 

Vasari traces art to the workings of nature. So does the atheist. Even when 
Vasari comes to speak of a ' divine light,' influenced by which man is led to prac- 
tise noble arts, and to raise himself above the beasts of the field, he is far 
from saying that the Hebrew race were so very plentifully endowed with this ' divine 
light ;' rather he reserves his enthusiasm to dilate on the great artists of another 
people, whose worship was utterly opposed to that of the Israelites. 

Moses and the Jewish people are very much indebted to any writer for such 
honourable mention in connection with the arts. True it is, we are informed that 
Moses furnished the Children of Israel with some * curious patterns and designs,' 
and we also learn that the Egyptians, long before Moses was born among them, 
designed and worked all kinds of ' curious patterns.' More, we have proof that 
they wore eminently skilful in the practice of the arts of life. Moses, who was 
educated by the Egyptian priesthood (svho were also artists), possibly derived 
some of his ideas of art from his tutors. But that we will leave to others to 
determine, who may also favour us with a conjecture as to the source of Egyptian 
art. A recent traveller fancies that, in constructing the Pyramids, the Egyptians 
had an eye to the forms of their blue hills. The same imaginative writer traces 
some resemblance betwixt the columns of their magnificent temples and the beau- 
tiful palm trees which abound in those parts. If natural objects suggested ideas 
of form to that people, the opinion expressed by Vasari and Opie respecting the 
common origin o» the arts of design is materially sustained. 

The Assyrians, Phoenicians, and Persians have also some claim to considera- 
tion. To whom were those peoples indebted for an induction into the arts and 
manufactures ? Doubtless to nature, the common mother of all. 

There never was a more opportune time than the present to remonstrate against 
the supposition that the arts of life had an especial origin and sanction through 
Moses on Mount Sinai. 

The great International Exhibition contains examples of workmanship of most 
indisputable excellence, contributed by peoples neither inspired nor influenced by 
anything written in the Bible. Nations whose histories trace back, through 
almost trackless ages, to sources in no way connected with the Jews. Peoples not 
sympathising with the Jews in religious or political motives for exertion, to whom 
Christianity is unknown, have sent works of art and manufacture to our metropo- 


lis for exhibition, with the understanding that they are to be honourably tested 
with the workmanship of other peoples. How would it give just cause of distrust 
if, in deciding which of the nations represented display the most skill, the Chris- 
tian umpires were to set up exclusive Christian pretensions, and deny justice to 
those whom Christians call Pagan or superstitious ? Surely such will not be 
attempted. For one great social end, the ' sober, practical Saxon has invited the 
workers of the whole earth to a friendly trial of strength under the verdict of that 
fine old Saxon institution, the jury ;' and should the Saxon meet his guests Bible 
in hand, and quote Scripture to disparage their contributions, and deny 
to them culture, merely because they do not write ' Christian ' over their 
studios, worshops, and marts ? Such a proceeding would be like reading a 
funeral service over friendships so genei'ously invoked and so generously res- 
ponded to. 

"When we have had leisure to cultivate an acquaintance with the history of the 
fine arts, we have had to trace our way, for the most part, over classic ground ; 
few of the historians of art directed us to the tents of the children of Israel, or, 
indeed, to any period of Jewish history. Those historians have mostly been zealous 
Christians; but their knowledge of the Bible would not enable them to assert that 
the Jewish people, during any period of their strange career, excelled in the prac- 
tice of the fine arts. 

Francis William Newman observes, that * The whole value of Hebrew 
history to us turns upon the Hebrew religion.' The same author further says, 
in contradistinction, it would be absurd to write a history of Greece and take no 
notice of Philosophy, Poetry, and Art. This writer does no more than pro- 
nounce the common opinion of Europe. Christopher. 


It is dated June 3rd, 1851, and after a statement of his political creed — which 
includes a tax of fifty per cent, on the incomes of gin-palace and beer-shop keepers, 
distillers, and 'the proud aristocracy,' the crushing of Puseyism, compulsory 
training of the poor ignorant Papists in Protestant truth, the Bible being the only 
text-book, and the punishment of Sabbath-breaking, gambling, drunkenness, and 
nncleapness with hard labour in the dockyards and in the sewers of large towns — 
the candidate for the county of Ayr breaks into the following strain of fervid 
eloquence : — 

I shall now, in conclusion, pray most fervently that our high-spirited, noble 
Queen may be long preserved, in health and happiness, to reign over a great, loyal, 
but above every consideration a religious and moral people ; and may her gratitude 
to Jehovah bear some correspondence to the vast obligations she is laid under to 
act as his vicegerent, with singleness of heart and devotion, when she considers 
the terrible risk she ran on the 11th or 12th of August, 1849, when she committed 
the public and flagrant iniquity of sailing from Belfast on the ever-l)lessed day of 
the Lord. Oh ! if the great King of Kings and Lord of Lords (whose humble 
servant I am) had met her and her squadron (which came to anchor in Rothsay 
Bay, I believe) in wrath, where would her poor lost soul have been but swelling 
the awful chorus of the damned, in the doleful regions of eternal woe, along with 
her uncle, George the Fourth, Claverhouse, Lauderdale, Grierson of Lag, Sir 
Archibald Kennedy, the bloody Lord Advocate, Queensbury, etc., etc., etc. ? But 


she has been spared to live to his glory, and to be the nursing mother of the true 
church, the church of Calvin, Luther, Knox, Cromwell (my sainted friend); and of 
Owen, Howe, Baxter, Bunyan, Boston, and, above all, the immortal Dr. Love of 
Anderson, the Hameylia or Alps of divines. God bless you all, and success to the 

By the bye, I had almost forgotten Ireland, that sweet but unhappy portion of 
her Majesty's dominions. The policy of the immortal Oliver Cromwell must be 
adopted there, the Bible or the sword — the steam guillotine, erected wherever the 
priests of Baal interfere with the consciences of their poor deluded victims, the 
vile slaves of his unholiness, who sits on the Seven Hills, the foul favourite of the 
scarlet damsel : and their reverences must be made to taste all the sweetness of 
this most ingenious machine, tq the melancholy, soul-subduing air of, ' He played 
upon a razor, a razor, a razor, he played upon a razor, fee fa fum,' which my droll 
friend, Assloss, sings with a considerable share of humour ; but we can have no 
objection that those poor creatures, Wiseman, the Bishop of Exeter, Lord Aber- 
deen, Sir James Graham, the Irish brigade, and the rest of the synod, should take 
a harmless game at Pope Joan for a farthing pool. John Glen Paekee. 


Of all the magazines which have of late years existed among us, none, in useful 
honesty, useful truth, and useful courage, have stood out more manfully than the 
Truth iSeeher, edited by Dr. Lees, Mr. Phillips especially, and other able coadju- 
tors, have contributed to the TrwfA (Seeier papers of remarkable merit. We quote, 
with sincere regret, the ' Farewell ' which it has made to the reading public : — • 

' With the present volume (concluded in No. 13, containing Table of Contents, 
etc.) the Truth Seeker ceases, at least for the present. For six years we have con- 
ducted it, almost single-handed, against the prejudices and intolerance of society. 
It is our tribute to the Spirit of the Age — our practical assertion, not of a barren 
right merely, but of the positive duty of Free Thought and Utterance. Satisfied 
of the influence the periodical has exerted, and of the good it has effected, we do 
not regret the sacrifices we have made for its support, and most heartily thank 
the noble few who have to some extent lightened our burthen. 

' An apology is due for one circumstance. During our winter's absence, the 
magazine being committed to other superintendence, two articles were inserted 
(one by a printer's mistake) of a party character, contrary to our rule. It is 
strictly within our original scope to open our pages to the discussion (jpro and 
con.') of Political and Social Principles, but not io party documents. 

'Some papers by Mazzini, on the "Duties of Man," were announced for our 
next volume, in case of the continuance of the Truth Seeker. These, with others 
by some of our old contributors, will shortly appear in the English Republic. The 
first six numbers of that periodical will be sent, to our subscribers only, for the 
price of four and a half — i. e., on receipt of twenty-eight postage stamps.' 


We copy the following advertisement from a Wexford .paper; and, although the 
day fixed for the sermon has passed, yet its publication may gain the attention of 
some priest in the neighbourhood, who ought readily to secure the offered reward, 
seeing that his church teaches its adherents to offer fervent and frequent prayers 



to the Virgin Mary. If there is a scriptural warrant for this practice let it be 
produced — if there is not, then we shall all be instructed by knowing the value 
of the authority that does command it : — 

* Thirty pounds reward. A sermon will be preached (if the Lord will) on 
Sunday evening:, March, 1851, in Carnew Chapel, Wexford, by the Rev. John R. 
Dowse, incumbent of Shillelagh. Subject: Invocation of the Virgin Mary and 
the Saints. Any person producing from the Bible a single precept teaching per- 
sons on earth to invocate the Virgin Mary, or other saints in heaven, shall receive 
£30 reward. We hold ourselves responsible for the payment of the above reward 
to anyone earning it before the 1st of May next. Wm. C. Moore, Rector of 
Carnew; J. R. Dowse, Incumbent of Shillelagh ; W. W. Cornan, Curate of Carnew.' 

To promote the efficiency of the Reasnner as an organ of Propagandism, one friend subseribes lOs. 
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Acknowledged in No. 264, 227s. — Arthur Trevelyan, 60s. — Thomas Billington, 
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Literary Institution, John Street, Fitzroy Square. 
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Question, ' The Respective Merita of Free Trade 
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' Life and Policy of Pitt.' 

Hall of Science, City Road. —July 6th [7i], 
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Institute of Progress, 10a, Upper George-street, 
Sloane-square.— July 4th [8], a Discussion. 6th, 
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National Hall, 242, High Holborn.— July 6th 
[8], P. W. Perfitt. ' Luther, as the Religious Man.' 

South London Hall, Corner of Webber Street, 
Blacktriars Road.— July 6th [73], C. Southwell, 
' Dryden, Rochester, Roscommon, Pomfret, and 

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Every Friday [8^], Mr. J. B. O'Brien, ' Home and 
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<Biiv &pen Page. 

We received notice, that on June 22nd ult., the Rev. W. Brock would preach, in 
Bloomsbury Chapel, a sermon to 'young men,' entitled 'Atheism Refuted and 
Renounced.' Had it been Denounced we could have understood it. Is the Rev. 
Mr. Brock an atheist, that he has to renounce atheism ? When that reverend 
shepherd calls upon his flock 'to renounce the devil and all his works,' he evi- 
dently supposes them to have some communication with that remarkable individual. 
It would seem that Mr. Brock has some intercourse with atheism. Mr. Brock's 
sermon came off at 7 o'clock in the morninfr — does this gentleman think that we 
can bear to be refuted before breakfast? Rather too early in the day ! 

Pantheism is the doctrine that conscious goodness animates the universe. Rational- 
ism, in teaching that man's welfare depends on the harmonious development of 
bis own capacities and his harmony with nature and society, rests on the doctrine 
that goodness animates the universe — that the study of humanity is the study of 
beauty and goodness. The consciousness of the universal goodness it says nothing 
about — lets alone — but its vivid recognition of the fact that universal goodness and 
progression do exist, often leads it to the very brink of the assertion that this is 
conscious. Extremes meet — and we start to behold the very presence of Deity in 
' atheistical' speculations. . P. 

Mr. Charles Larkin, of Newcastle-on-Tyne, has recently delivered a course of 
lectures against Atheism, but the language in which he expressed his antagonism 
was so violent and unjust as not to be hurtful at all to those whom he sought to 

Mr. Palmer, of the Partheninm, St. Martin's Lane, has lately been endangered 
by breaking a blood vessel ; but upon calling to ascertain his state of health, the 
answer was that he was so far recovered as to be able to walk about again. 

Readers in the Paddington district, who may find difficulty in procuring the 
Reasoner, may be supplied by Mr. J. Bowen, Newsvender and Stationer, of 10, 
Salisbury Street, corner of Little Exeter Street. 

The tenth volume of the Jleasoner is now ready for delivery. We hope in future 
to be able to give the Index with the last number of the closing volume. 

The 66th Monthly Part of the Reasoner was issued last week. The matter we 
had prepared for the wrapper was found nearly enough for eight pages when it was 
too late to provide a double wrapper. Next month we hope to give eight pages. 

A correspondent from Whitehaven writes thus : — ' Reading in the Reasoner the 
account of the proceedings at Lancaster, has set me thinking on the subject 
seriously, and the result of my reflections is this : All readers of the Reasoner 
must see how necessary it is for him and her to exert themselves to aid their per- 
secuted friends ; not a town but feels the want of power and influence. Then why 
do our friends not circulate all the works they think useful, as far as lies in their 
power? Why keep their numbers of the Reasoner uW^ by them ? Give them to 
others, or send them about. What numbers of books which, by being put in cir- 
culation, would strengthen our hands, are lying idle on the shelves of our friends. 
What use are they if there ? We shall have no right to complain of weakness, un- 
less all the means of gaining strength are not applied. Books are quiet but 
sure weapons to work with. Let our friends bear this in mind, and they will know 
whose shoulders to put the blame upon.' 

London: Printed by Holyoake Brothers, 3, Queen's Head Passage, Patemoster-row; and Published 
b; J. Watson, 3, Queen's Head Passage, Paternoster-ron. — Wednesday, July 2nd, 18&1. 



They who believe that they have Truth ask no favour, save that of beinf; heard: they dare the 
judgment of Mankind : refused Co-operation, they invoke Opposition, for Opposition is their 
Opportunity. — Editor. 


This week we interrupt the Provincial Reports to answer an inquiry lately made 
by more persons and with greater earnestness than usual. The last communica- 
tion put into our box is from a correspondent, well connected in the city, who put 
his case as follows. It need not be said why we omit name and address : — 

' Sir, — I am a young man of 19 years of age. From having carefully perused 
the works of Volney, Paine, and others, I have become warmly attached to 
deistical opinions, not, I hope, hastily, but as the result of mature deliberation. I 
an", in the habit of spending the Sunday with my friends, who are exceedingly 
religious, and accompanying them to chapel. For so doing I have incurred the 
displeasure of a freethinking friend, who argues that by my regular attendance at 
chapel I am assisting to support an erroneous system, and that it is my duty to 
stop away, or else give up my deistical opinions. Now, sir, what can I do ? If I 
disclose my sentiments to my relations, they won't discuss the subject with me, 
but cover me with contempt and scorn, and perhaps disown me altogether, which, 
to me, would be a serious matter. On the other hand, am I justified in playing 
the hypocrite, and regularly attending a place of worship, and listening to sermons 
crammed with inconsistencies and absurdities at which my reason revolts? My 
object in troubling you with these remarks, is to ask your opinion on the course 
that I should pursue with most credit to myself. If you will oblige a constant 
reader of the Reasoner with a word or two on this subject in that periodical, I have 
reason to believe you will be conferring a great favour on many in a similarly 
awkward situation.' 

We should like to have the personal acquaintance and friendship of the 'free- 
thinking friend ' alluded to. As he advised so large a sacrifice as that of our young 
correspondent incurring the loss of his worldly prospects, no doubt he (the 'free- 
thinking friend') was making himself an equally great sacrifice in some quarter, in 
some way or other. No doubt he was subscribing freely for the spread of his 
opinions, was active in distributing a knowledge of them, was writing on the sub- 
ject himself, was getting new readers to the periodical confuting that class of errors 
to which he was opposed — no doubt he was doing all this at a sacrifice as great as 
that which he advised. This, no doubt, was the case, because one could not re- 
commend another to do more than one did one's self. And as the number of 
freethinkers who do so much as this is not too great, we should be happy to make 
the acquaintance of any others. 

The reason for such remarks is that much harm is done by giving advice so 
severe that it is not likely to be followed, and omitting to point out what equivalent 
thing may be done if the austere recommendation is not followed. He who advises 
another to sacrifice himself, is bound himself to set the example. Nor is it of use 
telling a man to give up his opinions. He cannot give up his opinions at will, and 

[No. 267.] ~" ' [N0.8, Vol. XI.] 



when he sacrifices himself, he ought to take care that he at the same time accom- 
plishes for the public a good equal to that which he forfeits himself. No question 
that it is the best thing for a disbeliever to stop away from church — to refuse openly, 
respectfully, and manfully, and to make his refusal an example to all around him. 

It is well to live upon less, to put up with privation, to work harder, in order to 
enjoy the noble freedom of conscience and action. Where a man is single, and has 
no relatives depending upon him, he should cast himself at once on the world and 
freedom, and struggle his way through. The discipline would make his character if 
not his fortune. But to those who do not or cannot take this course, let them 
take care that the evil is atoned for as far as possible, and reduced to as small an 
offence against the truth as possible. 

Undoubtedly it is a fault to go to church when you should be bearing testimony 
against it. But if you refuse to go and are ruined, and those about you are ruined 
also, you lose the power of spreading your opinions except by the example of loss 
incurred, which is not attractive as the world goes. Do this even then. Struggle 
against going to church as much as you can — embrace every fair opportunity of 
being absent : say you do not profit sufficiently — that you need instruction in ethics, 
and you do not get it — that you need a higher ideal of life set before you, and you 
do not find it furnished. These reasons will always be true and excuse many 
absences — but will not excuse all. When you must go, remember you have to 
atone for it. Ask yourself what you do it for, and devote one half the value of the 
sum of the advantage to support what you consider the true principles. 

If religious people force the compliance of your attendance against your con- 
science, as the price of your means of actual living according to your station — if 
you must go to church as a matter of trade, or self-protection, or in kindness to 
others, you need not give manliness as well as submission. Take vengeance on 
the church who thus attacks your manhood and honour. Devote half your ad- 
vantages which you have to purchase by acquiescence, to exploding and bringing 
into contempt the system which seeks to enslave you. If this course were often 
taken religious people would soon give over enforcing compliance with their ex- 
ternals. They know that many every day sit down in their churches and chapels who 
do it reluctantly, and they often boast how they coerce and compel those to come 
in who despise their effete doctrines. Could ihey, however, see these persons were 
bent on exacting that full compensation for their compliance, by well devised and 
indefatigable retaliation, they would rather tremble than rejoice at the right of 
those over whom they now triumph. 

The evil is that hundreds who are reluctant church and chapel goers affect to 
regret the necessity, but never devote a single £5 note to avert it. Many who 
get £500 and £1000 a year by complying with religious observances, which they 
feel as fetters, never expend anything to exterminate the system which degrades 
them. It must be because they are only reproached for their compliance, and are 
never advised how to extricate themselves through the medium of others. Many 
comply for the sake of families. If we are to believe this and honour its genuine- 
ness and humanity, it can only be on the ground thut they give proof of it by real 
attempts to put an end to the whole system of hypocrisy. It is very common for 
gentlemen to say, ' I really cannot oppose the Church, it would ruin me.' Nobody 
wants them. Let them help those who can afford to do it, and do do it even at 
their own cost. Give adequate means, which we undertake faithfully to employ and 
honestly to account for, and we will do the -arork. Were sufficient means supplied 
tor propagandism, in a few years there could be created such a change in public 


opinion, that it would be deemed publicly more honourable for all who dislike 
churches and chapels to stop away than go to them. Once for all we say that 
those who act the compliant p;irt as respects religious customs for any reasons of 
weakness, trade, or humanity, and complain of the degradation, and yet devote 
no part of their religious gains to exterminating the whole system, and do not 
work where they might woi^k for its destruction — we say we do not believe in their 
clearsightedness, or we do not believe in their manliness and sincerity. 

This is a large question, involving many points of integrity and honour. It is 
touched here hastily and imperfectly. Possibly many of our readers will desire 
to offer their opinions, objecting or confirming. We hope they will do so, for it is 
one upon which more may and perhaps ought to be said. 



A CORRESPONDENT represents that he has been deceived^ with i-eference to our 
promise of the new Monthly Wrapper. In saying it would appear with the first 
part of the new volume, we meant the first part wholly made up of the new 
numbers. We did not foresee that the last Part of the last volume must contain 
two numbers of the new volume. This was an accident which did not occur to 
our notice. Thus those who have ordered the last Part of the old volume expect- 
ing to find it in the new wrapper have been disappointed, which we regret. It has 
been explained how it came about that the wrapper now it has appeared is not all 
we intended it to be. The next part will be found in a double wrapper. To pre- 
vent any wrong expectation as to the probable contents of it, let us say that it will 
be made up mostly of permanent matter, it being intended to keep there such 
suggestions, addresses, and business directions relative to propagandism as ought 
to be brought monthly unler the notice of our more earnest readers, which notices 
if kept in the Reasoner would occupy space wanted for current events. From 
time to time will be explained the purposes to which the information on the 
wrappers may be put. With respect to the addresses of the News-agents, of which 
we have begun to give a list, we want some reader in each town to inform us 
whether all the persons whose names we have put down keep the Reasoner on sale, 
as we shall have to restrict the names of agents which we advertise to those who 
keep the Reasoner on sale. It will be of great value to us to be informed accurately 
who these agents are, and also to be apprised whenever any new agent commences 
to supply it. It is of service to local agents to be regularly advertised in the 
metropolis. Our friends travelling to various towns make it a point to purchase 
of those agents. 

The article published in a late number, entitled ' Reinforcement,' is already re- 
ceiving the responses of friends. Foremost has been Mr. Arthur Trevelyan, 
from whom we last week acknowledged three pounds, although he had just before 
contributed five pounds to the new volume. 

The Rev. James Fleming, of Lancaster, has completed his review of my lectures, 
in three numbers of the Lancaster Guardian. I have prepared three letters in 
reply, the first of which has been forwarded for insertion in last Saturday's paper. 
Next week will appear in the Reasoner the first part of the * Lancaster Controversy.' 

We want just seven names, as subscribers of seven sixpences, to complete our 
thousand for the Abolition of the Taxes on Knowledge. He who closes the list 
ought to be as memorable as the first purchaser of a Jenny Lind ticket. We shall 
put down the names in the oi-der in which they arrive. The only fear is, that 
every reader will think that every other has sent his sixpence, and so we shall not 
get any, and the list will never be complete. This, we believe, is the reason that 
the number has not been made up before. The subscriber of the eighth sixpence 
will have it returned to him, as we only want seven. G. J. H. 



The proprietors of the Baptist Chapel situate in the neighbourhood of the Victoria 
Theatre, are determined, it would seem, to keep pace with the spirit of the times, 
and turn an honest penny whenever an opportunity is afforded them. We know 
not whether it is anywhere set down that Baptist chapels should be strictly set 
apart for prayer, but this we know that the one referred to is not confined ex- 
clusively to that object. The ground floor on the left hand side of the sacred 
porch is occupied by a picture broker. This tasteful individual, in fine weather, 
embellishes the spacious area with a collection of pictures by the old masters, inter- 
spersed with a few specimens by living artists. The more attractive consist of 
some female portraits which might pass for members of the court of King Charles 
II. Without cataloguing the whole assortment, we may note, among the rest, a 
duplicate of Murillo's famous ' Beggar Boys,' and the 'Return from Hawking,' by 
Landseer. We do this just to show that the reverend landlords allow their 
tenant such licence as is indispensable to an amateur in the formation of a popular 
collection of pictures. 

Having said thus much of the broker, we will introduce the broker's next door 
neighbour — that is the occupant of the ground floor of the sacred edifice, on the 
right hand side of the porch. We made no inquiries, yet we doubt not she is an 
honest, hard working woman. Some amateur painter (we feel confident no pro- 
fessional had any hand in it) has enabled the good woman to make known the 
nature of her calling. The entrance is ornamented with the full-length portrait 
of a very clumsy-looking mangle. As a picture it deserves to be ranked with the 
very lowest order of art. Not only has the artist rendered the elegant and highly 
useful machine in colours glaringly inharmonious, but he has likewise betrayed 
utter ignorance of the rules of linear perspective. We wonder how the connoisseur 
on the other side of the chapel door can endure so crude a performance in the 
neighbourhood. Perhaps he has adopted the humane maxim, ' Live and let live,' 
and thus tolerates in charity what, as a man of taste, he would feel bound to anni- 
hilate. We take it the mangle picture is intended as an average specimen of 
Baptist art. The dealer's collection we look upon as mere stock in trade, but the 
mangle is a permanent badge of Baptist taste, nailed in a conspicuous place on the 
chapel front. 

We never heard that the Baptists, as a religious body, ever make any great 
sacrifices for the promotion of the fine arts, and we have some reason to think 
they never did. We had been acquainted with their music and singing for many 
years, having resided near one of their places of worship in a small market town 
in Berkshire, and we then formed our estimate of their accomplishments in the 
vocal and instrumental departments. In candour we must own that they sang 
and played with considerable earnestness, at the same time not with such remark- 
able skill as to make us esteem our lodgings any the better for being within a 
respectable hearing distance. Whatever attractions of ' rural sight or sound' the 
Berkshire hamlet had for our boyish days, neither the architectural decorations of 
their chapel nor the singing of their choir made anything approximating to a 
favourable impression on our youthful sensibility. We remember the good 
Baptists used to lament our plentiful lack of grace, and that we used to smile at 
their simplicity. 

We knew what they could do in music and song — it remained for us to discover 
what they could do in the pictorial way. Perhaps it is not fair to judge them 


solely by the mangle ' fresco ' (yet one would think they would not have it nailed 
on their chapel front unless they took some pride in it). If we are to take that for 
what they can do, it is the first discovery we have made of their abilities, and we 
hope it will be the last. We intend to carry our researches into the interior of 
the chapel, where we expect to make the discovery that the lady of the mangle is 
also a laundress, and that she has some interest in the bath devoted to the interest- 
ing ceremony of immersion. Should such turn out to be the fact, we shall not be 
at all surprised, after learning to what purposes the authorities can appropriate 
another portion of the holy mansion. The Icelanders let their churches to tallow- 
chandlers and fishmongers for store rooms — so says a lady traveller who has re- 
cently paid that economical race a visit. We do not think that benighted people 
any more entitled to credit on the score of their economy than the proprietors of 
the chapel to which we have directed the attention of Lambeth readers. 



Salvador is a Jew. It is his idea that the Roman emperors, asserting themselves 
to be gods from the time of Augustus, paved the way to the worship of the man Jesus. 

* The year 12 before the actual era, and more than forty years before the preach- 
ing of Jesus Christ, an immense temple in honour of Augustus was inaugurated 
at the conflux of the Saone and the Rhone. The Gaulish gods acknowledged the 
emperor, the man god, for their sovereign : obedience and devotion to Rome 
formed the basis of the worship of this temple. The statues of sixty cities, the 
most important of the Gauls, represented the homage and subjection, more or less 
disguised, of all the peoples from the Alps to the Ocean, from the Pyrenees to the 
Rhine. In this sense, and in a Roman point of view, the Gauls acquired incon- 
testible rights to an honorary title — it merited to be called the eldest daughter of the 
religion of the divinity of Augustus and of the emperors, in the same manner that 
this country, some ages afterwards, was thought worthy to receive the title of the 
eldest daughter of the new church detached from Jerusalem, of the new religion 
of which Rome has had the destiny to be the expression, the most authentic and 
the true centre.' — (Salvador's ' Roman Domination in Judea,' vol. i., pp. 335-6,) 

I would call your attention particularly to these last words, because they seem 
exactly corresponding to those which you are represented as having expressed in 
the late discussion with the Rev. Mr. Scott. 

Another remarkable fact he appears to substantiate is, that the Romans did not, 
for a long time, know the difference between Christians and Jews. They knew 
that all the Jews were expectant of a Christ or Messiah. When they called them 
(the Jews) Christians, they only meant those who had this belief, without attach- 
ing it to the person of Jesus. The mention of Christ crucified by Tacitus he 
declares to be an interpolation, which also was the judgment of the late Rev. Mr. 
Taylor. Thus the martyrdoms ascribed to the Christians, Salvador affirms to have 
been suffered by the Jews. 

Even under Augustus the Jews were well known at Rome, from the frequent 
mention of them by Horace, who, when told of a miracle, said a Jew may believe 
that. He wishes to speak on business with a friend, who says it is the Sabbath of 
the Jews, let us not offend their prejudices. The answer of Horace is worth 
giving in classical language, as you or your readers may wish it for a motto — 
' Nulla mihi, unquam religio est,' which Englished is ' I never had any religion.' 
His friend answers so exactly in the strain of the religious sentimentalist of the 
present day that it is worth giving — ' At mi : sum paulo infirmior, unus multorum,' 
English — ' But I am a little weaker on that point ; I am one of the many.^ 

W. J. B. 



%amttiattOtt of il)t \Brtes, 

The History of Six Months' Imprisonment. — This is a record of facts, 
pleasantly rendered, relative to the imprisonment of the author, in 1842, for blas- 
phemy. The work is divided into four chapters — before the imprisonment; the 
trial; after the sentence; and after the liberation. A very high compliment is 
paid to the accomplished Mr. Birch in the ' Dedication.' This gentleman is author 
of the ' Inquiry into the Religion of Shakspere,' a charming book for the literary 
man. Any one might feel proud of having such a compliment paid him. Al- 
though there may have been some unnecessary daring in Mr. Holyoake when he 
uttered the words fur which he was prosecuted and imprisoned, yet we have no 
sympathy whatever with prosecutions for opinions. Our talented townsman, Mr. 
Samuel Bailey, in his * Formation of Opinions,' has taught us the utter absurdity 
and wickedness of anything of the kind. In the celebrated inaugural address of 
Lord Brougham, the doctrine is clearly laid down, that it would be as reasonable 
to persecute a man for having red hair, or a crooked nose, or a cast of the eye, as 
for having certain opinions. This appears to have been fully verified by this six 
months' imprisonment. From first to last, Mr. Holyoake appears to have 
bothered policemen, magistrates, judges, counsel, jailors, turnkeys, prisoners, 
prison inspectors, the Home Secretary, and Parliament itself. Even after the im- 
prisonnient was over Mr. Holyoake fired another shot, the effects of which, we have 
no doubt, are now felt in the improved discipline of the prison where he was in- 
carcerated. "We apprehend that all the officers connected with the prosecution 
and imprisonment were heartily glad when they were rid of it. Many piquant 
sketches appear throughout the book. We are glad to find that our talented 
member, Mr. Roebuck, who sat for Bath at that time, brought the case before the 
Home office and Parliament. Sir James Graham stated in the House, in answer to 
him, that * there had been serious irregularities and unnecessary harshness in the 
case of Holyoake ;' a very severe reproof, which was heavily felt. The report of 
the trial is taken from the reporter's notes. At another part of the trial, honour- 
able mention is made of the conduct of the ladies — and a touching recital of the 
occurrence brings our townsmen, John Fowler and Paul Rogers, out in a pleasant 
and honourable position. We trust our readers will possess the book, as its 
perusal will suggest many important ideas at the present time. — Sheffield Free 
Press, May 3, 1851. 

The ' Nonconformist ' and the * Last Trial for Atheism.' — Mr. Holyoake 
is not a person with whom one can or ought to sympathise greatly : but we 
deprecate and deplore all such legislative interference with religious opinion as he 
has sufiered from ; and his case shows it to be bad in principle, and most injurious 
in its effects. We must take his part, and not the wicked law's, in this most un- 
Christian prosecution. — Nonconformist, June 11, 1851. [Several reviews of the 
' Last Trial ' have been prepared by journalists, and have been suppressed by 
clerical influence connected with the respective newspapers for which they were 
prepared. This has been communicated by a friend under whose hotice one or two 
cases have come. — Ed.] 

A Bishop Supporting Dissent. — The Bishop of Durham has subscribed £15 
towards an Independent Chapel, in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, at which that champion 
of dissent, the Rev. T. Biuney, preached on Sunday week.— Prestow Chronicle, 
June 28, 1851. 



Saeligtoit, ^^tlftiSnx, anlf ^rt. 


In the service of Christianity, the fine 
arts have unquestionably ari-ived at 
great maturity and perfection. Raphael 
and Michael An»elo went far to lival the 
ancients ; but the ahlest judges, even 
amongst devout Christians, decree the 
palm of superiority to the ancients, and 
the ablest Christian painters and sculp- 
tors have vied with each other in paying 
honour to the painters and sculptors of 
Greece, It is refreshing to read with 
what warmth and enthusiasm the pain- 
ters of Italy, while in the service of the 
Pope, could speak of the sculptured 
deities whose worship, as Catholics, they 
must have been taught to hold in abomi- 
nation. We trace this liberal conduct 
of Christian artists to the enlightened 
principles of the arts in which they were 
so well accomplished. It would have 
been easier to have persuaded Michael 
Angelo that he was Pope Clement than 
to have wrung from him any other de- 
cision than that Phidias was the greatest 
of sculptors. The principles which re- 
gulate the judgment of the artist are 
absolute as the laws of nature. To him 
art is but 'nature methodised.' Nicolas 
Poussin, who painted at Rome till 1GG5, 
having stU'lied Raphael and the antique 
with so much profit as to win for him- 
self a place beside the fiist-class painters 
of Italy, made the following striking 
comparison betwixt Pagan and Christian 
artists. He said — ' Compared with your 
moderns, Raphael is an angel ; compared 
with the ancients, he is an ass.' This 
painter-like comparison has been mainly 
borne out, though in milder language, 
by the majority of eminent critics. 

Italian painters, although engaged to 
adorn Christian churches, knew that it 
would be vain to seek among Christian 
archives for materials for their art. The 
Joves, Junos, and Apollos of Pagan 
worship formed the basis of that excel- 
lence to which painting and sculpture 
were carried by Da Vinci, Raphael, 
Michael Angelo, Julio Romano, and the 
Carracci. Those Christian artists knew 
that the materials for beautifying Chris- 

tian churches were only to be found 
among the ruins of Pagan temples. 

The statuaries and painters of Greece 
were indebted to the demands made 
upon them by the priests for the excel- 
lence they achieved, and which to this 
day has not been equalled. The attri- 
butes of their deities, heroes, philoso- 
phers, and poets (amongst whom a sort 
of relationship existed) taxed the artist's 
invention to the uttermost, and drew 
forth the most perfect types of every 
variety of form and character. 

The Athenians pursued art in that 
liberal spirit which mankind would do 
well to infuse into all their undertakings. 
Throwing aside everything which pre- 
vented its full and complete develop- 
ment, their productions soon furnished 
a remarkable contrast to the crudities of 
older nations. The history of the world 
does not present more hopeful and in- 
citing evidence of perseverance and 
success in pursuit of excellence than 
the labours of the Grecian chisel. Never 
was there a more striking demonstration 
of what great things a people can ac- 
complish whose genius is unfettered and 
uncontrolled. Hitherto sculpture and 
painting had been pursued like vulgar 
crafts, realising the most barren con- 
ceptions, anil employed only as the lan- 
guage of prejudice, bigotry, and intole- 
rance. Tlirough almost trackless ages 
the self-same idols reared their hideous 
shapes, adequate to the purposes of the 
priesthood and for the worship of peoples 
unnumbered. Art arose in Greece — to 
use a figure of one of her poets — ' like a 
Day drawn by white steeds,' a glorious 
light amidst a world of 'darkness which 
might be felt.' Ages have elapsed, and 
Greece has passed away, but the glory 
which crowned the efforts of her aspiring 
sons in the free exercise of the arts 
remains undiminished and unobscured. 

Fortunately, it is possible, without 
quitting England, to acquire a knowledge 
of the works of Grecian artists ; laudable 
care has been taken to purchase many 
of the most precious fragments as they 



hare been 'dug from their grave for ages.' 
Of those which might not be purchased, 
accurate casts have been procured, which, 
in the absence of the originals, serve the 
student for exemplars. There is a col- 
lection of Grecian sculptures in the 
British Museum, another at Oxford, and 
many smaller ones in different parts of 
the country. Miniature casts, bearing 
some resemblance to the originals, are 
hawked in almost every town ; an4 
whether looking at the mutilated frag- 
ments in the state in which thev were 
exhumed, or the large authentic casts, 
many of which have been restored (that 
is, the casts have been supplied with 
missing portions by ingenious sculptors). 
or judging only from the shilling at- 
tempts at imitation vended in the streets, 
they are at once recognised as the almost 
perfect types of fair-proportioned man- 
hood and womanly gracefulness. Some 
appear to us as deities, but they are esti- 
mated only as wonders of art — as imper- 
sonations of man and woman, beautiful, 
graceful, and energetic. 

It will be seen, upon consulting the 
history of the fine arts in their connec- 
tion with religion, that they have been 
fostered and perfected, or neglected and 
degraded, just as priests have desired 
and willed — and this without reference 
to any particular nation. Thus in Egypt 
the arts were pursued under the most 
degrading conditions ; and so also by 
the descendants of Abraham. On the 
other hand, to the artists of Greece 
every incitement was held out which 
might induce them to excel. To the 
Egyptians little, and to the Israelites 
belong no sort of renown for the works 
of their sculptors and painters. In con- 
trast, Greece is called the Mother of 
Arts. The works of Grecian sculptors 
evidence the greatest nicety of percep- 
tion, enlarged and refined conception — 
and more, the rare practical accomplish- 
ment (so difficult to master) to realise 
fully to the comprehension of others 
that which was deemed worthy of being 

To old Rome belongs the doubtful 
reputation of having despoiled the 
temples of Greece of their best works of 
art, and of havin^j afterwards highly ap- 
preciated them. It seems to have trou- 
bled the Romans very little with respect 
to whom their gods were, where they 
came from, what they wpre made of, or 

by what process they became possessed 
of them ; hence, on their acquisition of 
Grecian deities, they found no scruples 
to prevent their giving them the highest 
places of honour in their own temples. 
Thus the gods of Greece became the 
gods of Rome. But not so the skill 
which created those gods. Rome could 
plunder others of their godly creations 
but could not steal the ability to create 
for themselves. 

In turn, the barbarians, and then the 
Christians, arose in great strength, and 
demolished the divinities and other 
images which the Romans had been at 
so much pains to accumulate. After- 
wards the caste of the Christians altered, 
and they displayed the greatest zeal to 
dig up and collect together the fragments 
of the images they had broken, and to 
make good the havoc they had made. 
Further, they established ^schools of 
painting and sculpture for themselves. 
It is known to what the arts have arisen 
under the sanction of religion. It re- 
mains to be shown what use can be made 
of the arts by those who have no religion 
in the ordinary acceptation of the term, 
for, in all the cases we have mentioned, 
a religion of some sort or other was the 
chief incitement to artistic effort. 

For our acquaintance with the several 
religions of India, Egypt, Greece, and 
ancient Italy we are chiefly indebted to 
the arts of design, which were monopo- 
lised by the priests ot those nations to 
furnish the symbols for imparting reli- 
gious instruction to the masses of the 
people. Many interesting particnlars 
have been brought to light concerning 
the Egyptians, in whose temples and 
tombs an unceasing investigation is pur- 
sued by learned and indefatigable Eu- 
ropeans. The priests of that ancient 
race appear to have considered religion 
the only subject worthy to be recorded 
in paint and in stone. Whatever pan- 
city ot record may be felt respecting 
some of the habits of that people, almost 
every stone of their vast buildings is a 
written tablet to enlighten the scholar 
on matters pertaining to their religions 
observances. Egyptian art, if the term 
may be allowed, was strictly conven- 
tional. Idols were designed by the 
priesthood, and forms thus furnished 
were held inviolable. Those idols not 
being self-explanatory, a series of hiero- 
glyphics were needed to explain them — 



these were likewise designed by the in- 
dastrioas priests. Some of the objects 
selected to illustrate the idols were of a 
loathsome nature. The cat, dog, and 
crocodile were amongst the objects most 
revered of those set before the people. 
The selection shows anything but a 
dainty taste on the part of those who 
made it — one certainly not likely to 
initiate a love of the beautiful. Those 
firet-class idols Osiris and Isis were very 
uncouth, and the Sphynx was sufficiently 
monstrous to be the mother of all the 
monsters which ever haunted mankind. 

Sympathy does not, ought not, to 
exist betwixt Egyptian sculptures and 
modem art. The chief characteristics 
of those sculptures are opposed to the 
common principles of nature ; nature 
is outraged by them, and every noble 
aspiration suffers by their contemplation. 
There are reasons why the remains of 
Egyptian tombs, temples, obelisks, idols, 
and mummies are valuable to modern 
teachers ; but there are no reasons why 
those idols should not be rejected by 
those who aspire to excellence in the 
arts of design. Not in contempt of the 
religion which they typify are they re- 
jected, but because they want beauty 
and dignity and grace. 

The children of Israel, who were in- 
debted to the Egyptians for the little 
knowledge they had of the arts of design, 
were subjected to similar regulations, 
and they never achieved a name for the 
creation of ideal beauty and graceful- 
ness on canvass, in stone, wood, ivory, 
or brass. The calf idol which they 
manufactured in the wilderness (proba- 
bly an imitation of the red heiier of 
Osiris) brought them little encourage- 
ment ; no sooner did their great law- 
giver perceive the beast than he broke 
it to pieces, and caused three thousand 
of the 'stiff-necked' idolaters to he slain. 
Afterwards the Jews were supplied with 
patterns, made everything to order, and 
took care to make nothing on their own 
responsibility. Moses gave out that he 
received the patterns he furnished to 
the Israelites from the hands of God. 
Such might have been the case, though 
some are inclined to believe they were 
but imitations of patterns Moses had 
been familiar with all his life in Egypt. 
In justice to the Egyptians, the matter 
ought to be decided. If a similar dis- 

pute about patterns occurred in these 
times, a party standing in the light of 
the Egyptian priesthood wonld have 
little difficulty in obtaining damages for 
an infringement of their copyright. 

We have been accustomed to consider 
useful manufactures in their commer- 
cial, economical, and political capacity, 
and thus estimated them with respect to 
their value to society. The more mere 
manual operations may become associa- 
ted with the fine arts, and derive addi- 
tional worth from the connection, so 
much the greater will be our satisfaction, 
so much the more will they rise in onr 

Painting, poetry, music, and sculp- 
ture we esteem as elegant speculations, 
involving no less than a people's refine- 
ment — that, entertained in their pure 
and simple capacity, they elevate and 
ennoble the mind, and, in the purity of 
their culture, furnish no uncertain testi- 
mony of a nation's morality. 

Some writers speak very confidently 
of religion being the source of art both 
in ancient and modem times, but there 
is a vagueness in this language which 
amounts to a considerable pretension, 
misleading the reader as to the facts of 
the case. People suppose that Chris- 
tianity, or the genius of the true religion, 
has been the source of it all. Whereas 
in ancient times the arts arose and at- 
tained to a perfection which the epoch of 
the true religion has certainly not sur- 
passed. As we have shown, the kind 
of religion extant at the commencement 
of the arts was the Pagan religion, which 
had a large element in it both of mate- 
rialism and humanity. What charac- 
terises, what stamps the great efforts of 
the early artists are features strongly 
human : indeed all their divinities are 
human in their embodiments. This 
element of humanity entered like a 
strong inspiration into the celebrated 
efforts of which we are speaking — is 
quite appreciable by the atheist in any 
age, and may be considered as a common 
condition capable of ensuring greatness 
in the arts among any people of intel- 
lectual capacity, upon whom ordinary 
cultivation shall be bestowed. It is no 
uncommon thing to find modem divines 
representing the entire pagan world as 
being without God, or without the inspi- 
ration of the trae religion. Indeed it 

seems agreed on all hands, so far as re- 
ligious writers are concerned, that the 
ancients are very much to be pitied for 
having been born so early, when they 
(•ould not avail themselves of the clas- 
sic;il genius of the Evnugelists or the 
elegant speculations of the nnan of 
Tarsus. ]3ut what strikes us with most 
force is, that if the ancients accomplished 
so much without religion, why may not 
other people hope to attain to some de- 
gree of cultivation in the same way, see- 
ing that a common humanity helongs to 
all, and that the world is full of tragedy 
and poetry in every age? It is very 
much overlooked that it is come to be 
considered a vulgar state of the critical 
faculty which sees no distinction be- 
tween religion and morality. In these 
pages opponents have often been re- 
minded that sufficient concessions have 
been made of late years to establish the 
fact, so far as eminent authority is con- 
cerned, that morality is independent of 

The philosophic critic and the defender 
of divinity only contend now for the 
eminence of religion, as shedding a 
brighter and purer light over the field 
of ethics. Morality, which is indepen- 
dent of religion, and may exist equally 
well with atheism, is only now depicted 
as being of a lower kind than that pos- 
sessed by the more fortunate Christian. 
There is no reason, therefore, to deny a 
taste for the arts, or even proficiency in 
them, to the atheist. It is no longer a 
question of fact, but one of degree. In 
determining this degree, the Christian 
of course awards the palm to himself; 
but the fact that the capacity belongs, in 
some lesser degree, to his opponent is 
no longer to be disputed. The question 
then arises, whence is the inspiration of 
atheistical art to come ? We answer, 
morality is an inspiration, and that in 

the kingdom of secularism all the riches 
of nature are opened to the student 

It has been shown, over and over 
again, that in Poetry and the Drama, 
two of the highest branches of imagina- 
tive art, there are no sources of inspira- 
tion so profound as those of nature, so 
moving as those of human incident ; and 
we have never heard that nature and 
the tragic incidents of human life are 
the peculiar property of the Christian. 

From all, therefore, that history 
speaks, facts suggest, or inference in- 
forms us, there is no reiison to suppose 
that the appreciation, the love, and the 
cultivation of the arts may not be found 
dwelling with the atheists as a body as 
well as with Christians. 

How far these conclusions are from 
being ideal the historical reader may 
soon satisfy himself. In the periods 
when Christianity has been most intense 
it has been most opposed to art. The 
Puritans, for instance, despoiled the 
noblest examples of secular genius, and 
whatever ancestors less religious than 
themselves had borrowed from Pagan 
quarters to adorn their temples of wor- 
ship with. Even to this day the struggle 
still goes on, and the sceptic has to 
stand between the pietist and the degra- 
dation of art, which can never move in 
saintly harness, and is nothing unless 
free. There are not wanting Christians 
who would put petticoats on the Grecian 
Slave of Power now in the Exhibition, 
and fit out Apollo with a suit from 
Holywell Street, in order to comply 
with Christian decorum — a certain com- 
pound of prudery and aflfectation, very 
tar removed from nature, truth, and 
chastity. In a practical sense, we think 
it may be proved that art rather lives in 
spite of religion than in consequence 
of it. 


Prom which any earnest opponent may controvert our opinions, and from which any may expound viewa 
not coincident with our own, il tending to the Rationalisatiar. of Tiieology. 


Sir, — I observe, in No. 236 of the Heasoner, that Mr. Harrison demanded of me 
'where the first mjin came from ?' He wanted a direct reply, he said. I gave him 
one. I said, I did not know, ' I was not in the secrets of nature,' &c. As I wish 
for information on that topic, and on the creation of the world, I deemed it prudent 
to write you, and if you can give me no other reply, no other mode of responding 
to opponents; even then, an answer will be very acceptable. 

I cannot believe the Bible history of the beginning of man and of the world, it 
being unreasonable and unsolid ; and I cannot accept the theory of progressive 
development, it being so intricate and unsatisfying. To say, as an absolute 
answer, that I do not know how the world and man originated, sounds somewhat 
inelegant; although I presume it to be the most logical one. I consider it 
essential to have fixed opinions, and I hope you will not think me intruding in 
soliciting information. 

Should you vouchsafe a reply, I should communicate the result to several of 
my friends who know of my intention of addressing you, and who are equally 
desirous of enlightenment as myself. 

You may be pleased to learn that the Reasoner is read in Clapham by persons 
persons who believe in its contents. A Glapham Truth-seeker. 

[To confess to want of knowledge where you have it not is no doubt ' inelegant,' 
as this querist terms it — but inelegancy is better than presumption. Other replies 
may be given, but they involve details which lead from the subject of debate. The 
one which confesses to want of knowledge has the advantage of pressing the 
Christian to unravel himself and reveal what he knows. — Ed.] 


Sir, — In 263 of the Reasoner Mr. Holyoake reports himself to have replied in 
answer to a question, that ' Conscience is a man's sense of duty, and it implies 
responsibility to himself and to his fellows.' This statement coming from a dis- 
ciple of Mr. Owen is extraordinary, and seems to imply a denial of one of the most 
essential principles of Socialism. If, as Mr. Holyoake states in Reasoner No. 184, 
p. 354, * man neither made his nature nor his condition,' but * owes his actions to the 
destiny of his organisation and position,' then 'conscience' or a ' sense of duty' 
must result from these two sources of thought and action. Hence to affirm that 
responsibility is thus implied, seems in direct opposition to the nature of things. 
If man be responsible for his 'sense of duty,' then the structure of society is based 
on a correct foundation, and it is mere folly in Mr. Owen to talk of substituting the 
new principle of human irresponsibility. 

Of man being responsible to himself seems scarcely conceivable, if the ordinary 
definition of the term be understood, viz., accountable or answerable to society for 
actions committed. It is time Socialists turned their attention to the recasting of 
such terms; no one conceives that in dealing with human actions the Socialist 
takes no heed of the individual, but it is done with a view to personal improvement, 
not violently and vindictively to punish him for doing what he could not help. 


Hence the necessity for such terms as responsibility being abandoned and better 
put in their place. Zeno's servant being caught in a theft urged that 'it was his 
destiny to steal;'* ' and to he beaten ' replied his master, which was more worthy 
of a witty than a wise man, because the latter could not fail to perceive it to be 
unjust to punish him for what he could not help. Perhaps this will serve to induce 
others to make some practical suggestions on this matter. 

Glasgow. Cleon. 

[Cleon should tell us what answer he would give to the question put to Mr. 
Holyoake. Cleon's interpretation of terms is that which has before time con- 
demned Socialism to argumentative impotence. When he replies, giving his 
own answer, we shall see better what his notions are ; at present it is hard to be- 
lieve that he means all that his letter implies. — Ed.] 



London is the great central reservoir of pulpit, as well as of every other sort of 
talent, but it must be admitted that among those who occupy the sacred desks in 
in the Provinces, are very many great and distinguished men. Foremost among 
these is one who may aptly be termed the Nestor of the Pulpit. Such is the ' old 
man eloquent ' of Bath — William Jay ! 

Who does not know the city of Hot Water, and of ancient Dowagers — the realm 
of King Bladud — the scone of Beau Nash's trumpery triumphs, and the still gay 
metropolis of the West of England ? For considerably more than half a century 
Mr. Jay has been the dissenting ' lion ' of that particular place, and the Rowland 
Hill of the provincial Pulpit ; like the latter his course has been marked by a blending 
of piety with eccentricity. Mr. Jay commenced his career in the chapel of which he 
has been pastor such a number of years in rather a singular manner. Somewhere 
in Wiltshire was situated an academy for the reception of young men preparing 
for the ministry, over which establishment presided the Reverend Cornelius 
Winter. Jay, then a young man, but recently promoted from the plough-tail by 
some shrewd friend who had pierced through the rough crust of the raw country 
youth, and discerned the vein of genuine talent which ran and sparkled underneath, 
was a pupil of Mr. Winter's, but had never made his appearance before a con- 
gregation as a preacher, although repeatedly urged to ' break the ice ' by his 

One Saturday afternoon young Jay received a summons to attend on Mr. Winter, 
in the study. When he entered the sanctum, the old gentleman handed him a^ 
note, and said — ' Mr. Jay, the weather is fine, and as you have been hard at work 
all the week perhaps you would like a ride to Bath ?' Young Jay made no ob- 
jection, and Cornelius Winter produced a note he had just written. ' This note,' 

he remarked, ' I wish to be conveyed to the Reverend Mr. , of Argyle Chapel ; he 

lives in the Orange Grove, Bath, not far from his place of worship. Please to hand 
this to him, and he will give an answer. Remember — you must see him yourself. 
The Bath coach passes the door of the house in an hour from now, so get ready at 
once, and here is the amount of the fare.' So the student, who had often heard of 
the gay city of Bath, but had never visited it, attired himself in the best clothes 
which his humble means afforded, jumped on the Bath coach, and with heart and 

Rationalism, p. 37. 


spirit light entered the gay city, and speedily made his way to the Orange Grove. 
The house of the then popular minister of Argyle chapel was soon found, and like 
many thousand other bearers of letters, the young man, ' indifferent to the tidings 

he conveyed,' knocked at the door, and inquired for the Reverend Mr. . He was 

at home ; Jay was ushered into his study, and delivered the letter from Mr. 

Winter. Mr. deliberately read it, and then calmly folding it, he eyed the 

young man — and holding out his hand, said, with the most perfect nonchalance, 
'Mr. Jay — you must preach for me to-morrow.' 'Preach, sir! preach for you, 
sir ! to-morrow morning ?' asked, or rather gasped, the agitated young man. ' Mr. 
Winter has sent you to me for that very purpose ,' observed the old minister, and he 
added — ' To-morrow I am engaged at Bristol, and I applied to Mr. Winter for a 
supply — he has sent you. So, as preach you must and shall, it is necessary yon 
should at once make some preparation. I am now about to leave. Here are books 
at your service, and every thing else you can require.' Leaving young Jay in a 
state which many a young minister may imagine, and feeling completely 'trapped,' 
Mr. courteously bade adieu to his ' supply ' for the morrow. 

Left by himself — thrown upon his own energies — the self-reliance of the student 
was called into action. He knew that he could not 'back out' of the matter; 
indeed, if he had been inclined to shirk the sermon, and the preparation for it, he 

would have found any effort to do so abortive, for on Mr. 's leaving the study, 

he quietly locked the door, and the young man was a close prisoner ; so he re- 
mained until the old minister's wife summoned him to the tea-table. 

How he was employed during the interval it is not necessary to inquire — let 
us hear how he acquitted himself on the Sunday morning. At the appointed hour 
the good folks of Argyle Chapel were not a little surprised to see a young man 
emerge ^rom the vestry and ascend the pulpit stairs. Some of the old members 
looked vexed at this, for there were among them not a few who have an idea that 
if they pay their minister so much per annum, they have an undoubted claim to 
the whole of his services ; and that their pastor has no right whatever to leave, 
even for the sake of recruiting his health, or for the purpose of resting his mind 
by preaching one of his old sermons to a fresh congregation. As the stranger took 
his seat in the pulpit, there were sundry nods and winks and contemptuous 
tossings of chins, for 'his youth' was against him. Some, not seeing their old 
pastor in his pulpit, opened their pew doors and went out, and the great majority 
of those who remained behind would have followed such bad examples had not a 
feeling of shame restrained them. Young Jay timidly rose, and commenced by 
giving out his text. It was one singularly apropos to the situation in which he 
was placed. After naming the chapter and verse, he paused for a moment, and 
then somewhat astonished his hearers by pronouncing, slowly and distinctly, words 
selected from the touching narrative of Abraham and Isaac, and from that part of 
it where the patriarch is represented as about to sacrifice his beloved son. Young 
Jay simply read these words : — ' And the lad knew nothing of the matter.' Great 
was the effect, so pointedly were the words delivered ; and the youthful, nay, the 
boyish appearance of William Jay heightened the curiosity of the congregation as 
to what would come next. They were not left long in doubt, for with a gravity 
beyond his years, the young man proceeded to develop his subject and to delight 
his hearers. There was such an absence of affectation, so little (if any) straining 
after effect, by essaying wild flights of imagination, that even the grim old clerk 
relaxed his iron visage, the ancient members severally looked pleased, and the 
young folks were delighted. « 


Jay was once invited to dine with an old lady after an anniversary sermon — about 
a dozen sat down to an exceedingly ill-furnished table, and the keen eye of Jay 
detected the shift resorted to by the thrifty hostess to make a very little go a 
very lon<» way. He was too fond of sarcasm to allow an opportunity to pass by 
when such ofTered itself, and on being asked to say grace he rose, and glancing 
half comically over the barren waste of table cloth, he quoted two lines from a well- 
known hymn, 

' Lord ! what a wretched land is this, 
Which yields us no supply ." 

and then sat down to the Barmecidal feast. 

Not very long after Mr. Jay's first sermon at Argyle Chapel, he became pastor 

of the congregation assembling there, Mr. , his predecessor, having died — 

and where he still remains, as attractive as ever, after more than sixty years con- 
tinuance in his office. Let us now depict him as the Pastor of to-day; as the 
octogenarian soldier of the Cross ! 

More, considerably more than half a century has passed away; Bath is a far 
more quiet place than it was sixty years ago. Cheltenham, Brighton, and a host 
of other fashionable places of resort have sprung up, and eclipsed the Western 
Spa. Ruffles and rapiers no longer flutter and jingle in the Pump P»,oom ; and 
Sydney Gardens, the Vauxhall ot the provinces, live but in the memories of faded 
beaux and decayed beauties ; — but Argyle Chapel (modernised, it is true,) still 
remains ; and the voice which was heard so many years ago, mellowed by age, still 
echoes within its walls. 

The congregation assembling at Argyle Chapel is what may be called a rich one 
— perhaps a fashionable one ; and so, of course, everything is quietly and easily 
done. There is very little shuffling of feet ; and only the rumpling of rich silks 
disturbs the stillness of the place. The pew-openers are patterns of propriety — 
not clumsy persons who trudge heavily down the aisles, and swing open doors, and 
when you are passed in, bang them to again ;— nothing of the kind; — they walk as 
though their feet were shod with felt. 

Mr. Jay is of the middle height, stoutly built, and his broad shoulders are bowed 
by age. There is something in the massive head of Mr. Jay which reminds one 
of the grand old head of some ancient statue of Jupiter; it is large, and abundantly 
covered with silvery hair, which, sweeping from one of the temples, discloses a 
splendid forehead. The eyes are dark, bright, lively, and searching. Eyebrows 
large, of a darkish grey, overshadow these ' windows of the soul,' as some old writer 
has called them. The nose is short, and not classically formed, and the mouth 
is, if anything, a trifle too large for the connoisseur in such matters. A double 
chin fades imperceptibly away into a short neck, which is connected with a broad, 
expansive chest. 

The style of Mr. Jay is one exclusively his own. He imitates no one. Tjsually, 
he commences his sermons with some abrupt, terse observation, which would seem 
to have little to do with his subject, and which sometimes, indeed, has nothing in 
connection with it. He is not rapid in his delivery, but rather the reverse ; his 
sentences are delivered with great emphasis. His discourses may sometimes be 
almost called conversational, for he talks to people, as well as at them. Oc- 
casionally he produces an effect by a solemn strain of eloquence, immediately 
following some remarks which had, spite of the sanctity of the place, provoked a 
smile ; for, as in the case of Rowland Hill, he has a flow of wit which cannot always 
be restrained. It is not an uncommon practice of his, to select rather peculiar 



texts — take for an instance his funeral sermon for Rowland Hill, when he chose 
as the motto of his discourse, the words ' Howl ! fir trees, for the cedar has fallen ! ' 
— Partridge and Oakey's English Preachers. 


Mr. Dayid Hethekington, the only sua who survived his father, Henry Hether 
I ington, expired at Manchester last week after a fortnight's illness of the small 
pox. Previous to the death of his father he entered the establishment of Mr. 
Abel Hey wood, of Manchester, a situation which afforded him great pleasure; and 
the manner in which he always spoke of Mr. Heywood was honourable to that 
gentleman. David lived with his mother, whom he mainly, if not entirely, sup- 
ported. The old lady is now left alone in the world. David resembled his father 
, personally and in disposition- — and all who knew him will hear of his death with 
regret. , 

1^" The John Street Institution will be closed on Sunday the 13th, in conse- 
quence ot the members and friends taking an Excursion to Alperton. 


Literary Institution, John Street, Fitzrny ?quare. 
— July 8th [Si], Discussion in the Coffee Room. 
Question, 'The Respective iierits of Free Trade 
and Protection.' 

Hall ot Science, City Road.— July 13th [74], 
G. J. Holyoake, ' The Prayer of th- Archbishop 
of Canterbury on the Opening of the Great Exhi- 
bition examined.' 

Institure of Progress, 10a, Upper George-street, 
Sloane-square. — July llth [8], a Uiscasiion. 13th, 
[7J], a lecture. 

National Ha'.l, 242, High Holborn.— Jiilv 13th 
[8], P. \V. Perfitc. ' l^uther, as the Reforming JIan.' 

s^outh London Hall, Corner of \Vel)ber ^treet, 
Black.'riars Road.— July 13th ["J], C. Southwell, 
'Addison, Prior, Fenton, Hughes, Sheffield, Coa- 
greve, and Blackmore.' 

Eclectic Institute, Denmark Street, Soho. — 
Every Friday [8A], Mr. J. B. O'Brien, ' Home and 
Foreign Politics.' Every Sunday ["i], on ' Moral 
smd Social Science.' 

Areopagus Cottee and Reading Room, 59, Church 
Lane, \\ hitechipel. — Every Sunday, Monday, and 
Wednesday (3), a Lecture or Discussion. 

City Forum Cotiee House, 60, Red Cross Street. 
— Every Sunday, Monday, and Thursday [8^], a 


Works published by J. Watson, 

THE LIBRARY of REASON, containing aseries 
of articles from the works of ancient and 
modem authors in favour of FREE INQUIRV. 
22 Nos. stitched in a wrapper, witli Title and Con- 
tents price 1 6 

P.S. — Persons requiring single numbers to com- 
plete sets, can procure them from the publisher, or 
through his agents. 

Owen and Bacheler's Discussion on the Ex- 
istence ot God and the Authenticity of the 
Bible. In 1 vol., neat cloth boards, price 4 6 

Discussion on God, in 1 vol., cloth 1 14 

Ditto ditto in a wrapper 1 2 

Discussion on the Bible, 1 vol., cioth 3 8 

Ditto ditto la a wrapper 2 

(Or in parts at 6d. each.) 

Popular Tracts, by Robert Dale Owen in 
1 vol., cloth boards 2 6 

The Bib!e of Reason, or Scriptures of .Ancient 

and \.'odern Authors. 1 thick voI.S%'0. c. let. 7 6 
Godwin's Political Justice, 2 vols, bound 

in one, cloth lettered 5 

Mirabaud's System of Nature, 2 vols, bound 

in one, cloth lettered 5 

Volney's Ruins of Empires and Law of 
Nature, with three ei gravings. I vol., 

cloth Uttered 3 

(To be had in Five parts at 6d. each, or in 15 

numbers at 2d. each.) 
Shelley's Queen Jlab, with all the notes, 1 

vol., cloth lettered 1 6 

Ditto ditto wrapper I 

Trevelyau's Liitter to Cardinal Wiseman .. 1 
The Revolution which began in Heaven : a 

Dramatic Vision ot Time, by H. Lucas .. 6 
The Freeihinker's Magazine, in 7 Nos. at 2d., 

and 2 Xos. at 6d. 
Volney's Lectures on History, 1 vol., cloth 1 6 

Ditto ditto ditto wrapper 1 

Frances Wright's Popular Lectures, 1 vol. 3 
Ditto ditto Few Days in Athens, 

1 vol., cloth lettered t 6 

Ditto ditto wrapper 1 

London ; James Watson, 3, Queen's Head Pas- 
sage, Pateinosterrow. 

Now Publishing, Price Is. 6d., 
TER. By a Physician. 

'This is a valuable work,'— British Controver- 

' An able production.' — Tnrestigator. 

'A systematic collection ot facts.' — Present Age, 

' An excellent compendium.' — Reasoner. 

'The writer illustrates his subject ov citations 
from a vast array ot authors, ancient and modern.' 
— Critic. 

' The author has very ab'.y supported his propo- 
sitions by reterence to many authorities whose 
names stand high as theologians.' — Expositor. 

London : Joseph Clayton, 265, Strand ; and, by 
order, from all other booksellers. 


The following 'public notice' has been posted aboat Drayton Parslow, Bock- 
inghamshire, by a landowner and clergyman : — 'Whereas some of my tenants on 
the Diggin's and Henley's piece, have of late been very irregular in their attend- 
ance at charch on the Sunday; and so have not complied with the agreement 
entered into between landlord and tenant, " That each tenant should, as often as 
possible, be present at divine worship on the Lord's day." I give this timely 
notice to all whom it may concern — That unless I see them more regular at church 
than lately they have been, such persons absenting themselves for the future will 
be required to give up their land on Michaelmas-day next, without further notice.' 
The Aylesbury Neivs asks, ' Is the Pope of Rome as intolerant as this ^rotestant 
clerical landlord ?' 

On Sunday evening next Mr. G. J. Holyoake will lecture at the Hall of Science, 
City Road, on ' The Prayer of the Archbishop of Canterbury on the opening of the 
Great Exhibition, and an exposition of what he had better have done than de- 
livered it.' 

Mr. Harding, editor of the late Republican magazine, the readers of that jonmal 
will regret to hear has for some time been in aprecarions state. 

In the course of a lecture lately delivered at Gloucester, by the Rev. W. C. Os- 
born, Chaplain of the Bath Gjibl, the rev. gentleman stated that daring six years, 
55 children in Bath Gaol had cost the country £6,050, which would have paid for 
sending them all to a boarding school. Of these, 5 were dead, 15 transported, 30 
leading a criminal life, and about 5 only of whom he could say they were not 
candidates for transportation. 

Six short Tracts, written by Mr. Owen and printed on one sheet (a convenient 
form to secure their perusal, the subjects being sequential), have been issued by 
the Committee of Social Propaganda for circulation at the International Exhibi- 
tion. These Tracts can be obtained at Mr. Watson's, 3, Queen's Head Passage, 
Paternoster Row, and Mr. Tmelove's, 23, John Street, Fitzroy Square. For 
further information on these topics see,' Robert Owen's Journal,' and other works 
of Mr. Owen, which may be had of Mr. Watson or Mr. Traelove, or obtained 
through other publishers and booksellers. 

The Rambler (Roman Catholic) for this month has a laboured eulogy upon one 
Ippoliti Gallantini , aZuza 'the apostolic Silkweaver.' This sainted man, we are told, 
had such an eye for the spiritual welfare of his fellow worms, that he was ac- 
customed to take the children of Florence outside the city walls to play bowls, 
' fixing it as a rule, that instead of exacting money, the winners should oblige the 
losers to recite some short prayers by way of suflFrage for the souls in purgatory!' 

A Society of the Friends of Italy is being organised in London, whose three- 
fold objects have been thus stated :— 1. By public meetings, lectures, pamphlets, 
and the press — and especially by affording opportunities to the most competent 
authorities for the publication of standard works on the history of the Italian 
national movement — to provide materials for a correct public appreciation of the 
Italian question in this country. 2. To promote the same object, on fitting oc- 
casions, in parliament. 3. And generally to aid, in this country, the cause of the 
Independence, the Unity, and the Political, Religions, and Commercial Liberty of 

London : Printed by Holyoake Brothers, 3, Qneen'i Head Patsa^, Paternmter-row; and Pnbluhed 
by J. Wataon, 3, Queen's Bead Paaaage, Paternoster-row.— Wednesday, July Stb, 1851. 



They who believe that they have Truth ask no favour, save that of beinii; heard: they dare the 
judgment of Mankind : refiued Co-operation, they invoke Oppo6ition, for Opposition i^ their 
Opportunity. — Eoitob. 


THE REV, MB. Fleming's fibst letteb: a beview of mk, holyoake's 


In reviewing and replying to Mr. Holyoake's recent lectures, I have no intention 
of considering every objection he urged against Christianity, and every argument 
he brought forward in support of infidelity. This T should not have done even in 
public discussion, when a much greater opportunity of doing so would have been 
had. It is with the salient points of the lectures only that I purpose dealing in 
this critique — with what apparently was of importance in the lecturer's own 
estimation, and what might possibly appear to some of the audience not to be des- 
titute of force. 

As a lecturer, Mr. Holyoake possesses excellences which at once place him on 
vantage ground with many of his auditors. His appearance, voice, fluency of 
speech, and earnestness of manner, are all greatly in his favour, and immediately 
secure for him the attention of those whom he addresses. He appears a thought- 
ful, earnest, and somewhat melancholy man, fully given to his mission as the modern 
apostle of atheism, and determined to embrace every opportunity of announcing 
and diffusing his sentiments, whether success attends his efforts or not. His 
mind is evidently wholly engrossed with the subject of his advocacy, and for it he 
apparently lives, and seems prepared to encounter every inconvenience and sacri- 
fice to secure for it a wider dissemination among his feUow countrymen, and 
throughout the earth. 

That Mr. Holyoake's recent lectures were a fair specimen of his lectures generally, 
and the objections he urged against Christianity a fair sample of those he usually 
adduces, may, I think, be warnintably concluded. They certainly embraced the 
substance of his writings, as far as I know. My belief then is, that he said as 
much against Christianity, and in behalf of atheism, as he could, during the period 
comprised by the delivery of his lectures. But that that was very little is, as far as I 
can learn, the general opinion of those who listened to him. This certainly is my 
own belief ; and I, therefore, cannot avoid the impression that Mr. U.'s visit to the 
town has been productive of great and lasting good. It has shown to ns the hollow- 
ness of infidelity — how little can be brought forward in support of atheism, and 
against Christianity, And this is surely a matter for congratulation. For myself 
it is so especially, after the fears that were entertained and expressed by so many 
relative to the issue of Mr. H.'s lectures. It is my honest belief that infidelity 
has not gained a single adherent by this effort ; but that, on the contrary, not a few 
who formerly were predisposed to embrace its principles, have been led to pause 
and to inquire afresh into the character of the pretensions they were about to 
support. ' This much, as to the issues of the lectures, I have thought it well at 
once to advance for the sake of any who may still indulge the idea that great evil 

[No. 2GB.J IMo. », Vol. XI.] 



has come from them. Of Mr. H.'s inconsistency and unfairness, as the advocate 
of certain opinions, and the avowed opponent of Christianity, I somewhat com- 
plained at the close of his second and third lectures ; and to these I again advert. 
He holds it as an axiom or first principle, that the opinions men honestly hold, 
and which they believe to be calculated to promote the well-being of men, and the 
good order of society, they ouglft to have the privilege of disseminating whereso- 
ever and whensoever they please, without hindrance or interruption. Yet this rule 
which Mr. H. lays down for others, to which he professes to attach the highest 
importance, and for which he pleads most earnestly, he does not himself observe. 
He disregarded it once and again during the three nights of his lectures in Lan- 
caster. This he did most glaringly in the complaint which he made of the de- 
livery of tracts against infidelity to those who entered the hall to hear his lectures. 
Those tracts contained, in the judgment of those who circulated them, nothing but 
truth —instructive, important, and practical truth ; and in the act of distributing 
them, they ought not, according to Mr. H.'s principles, to have been interfered 
with, or complained of, and least of all by Mr. H. himself. But here Mr. H. 
clearly showed that he was not prepared to concede to others what he demanded 
as a right for himself. Those who complain of the intolerance of others, ought 
not themselves to evince it or to practise it. If Mr. H. considered the tracts to 
contain what was untrue, his duty was to demonstrate their falsity, and not to con- 
demn their distribution, or merely assert that they misrepresented infidelity. 
But he did neither. 

But this was not the only violation of his own axioms, of which Mr. H. was 
guilty. There were others equally glaring. But reference to one more only must 
here suffice. He adopts it as a principle, that no doctrine can be regarded as an 
established and settled truth, which has not been universally discussed and uni- 
versally received. Yet he holds himself many doctrines, and I have no doubt sin- 
cerely, which have never been so discussed and received. Nay more, he holds and 
maintains as true, opinions which have received comparatively little discussion, 
and been adopted by few; whilst he rejects as altogether false, opinions which 
have received the widest discussion, and been embraced as irresistibly and demon- 
strably true by hundreds of thousands of the most enlightened of mankind. Now, 
what but culpable inconsistency is this ? Why does Mr. H. adopt principles and 
violate them at every step ? Let him adhere to his own standard of appeal for 
deciding what is true and what is false — what is deserving of our credence and 
what is not so, and he cannot continue any longer what he is — the adversary of 
Christianity, and the advocate of atheism. The doctrine of the Divine existence 
has been all but universally discussed, and universally received ; yet Mr. H. re- 
gards it as wholly unworthy of any intelligent man's approval and belief. Atheism 
has been little discussed, and adopted by the most insignificant number; but he 
nevertheless accepts it and advocates it. 

Then I have also to complain of Mr. H.'s unjaimesa. He does not deal honestly 
with the questions he undertakes to discuss. What he professes to object to is 
Christianity, but what he actually opposes are the opinions and practices of men. 
The weapons he employs he draws not from the armoury of the Gospel, but from 
the quivers of men. What he charges home upon Christianity, is properly only 
chargeable on the statements and conduct — the books and systems of those who 
profess it. Now of this I complain — and I think with justice. If Christianity is 
to be opposed, let it be the Christianity we receive, and not that we know nothing 
of — the Christianity of the Mew Testament, and not that of men's writings and 


lives — the Christianity which stands before the world as God's revelation, and not 
that which is of the earth and earthy. That, however, Mr. H. seems not to venture 
to assail. Its impregnableness he has probably discovered. But be that as it may, 
all that I ask for is, that when Christians are charged with adhering to a religious 
system that is objectionable and untenable, let it be demonstrated from the Bible 
itself, and on fair grounds of reasoning, that such is the case. 

Mr. H. takes credit to himself for being an atheist. Hemaintainsthat if there were 
sufficient evidence for the doctrine of the Divine existence, and the truth of Christi- 
anity, he could not prevent himself being a believer in both — for, that ' the under- 
standing is the subject of evidence,' and ' is moved by evidence.' But does the 
conclusion fairly follow the premises ? What drunkard is not convinced of the evil 
of intemperance, and the dutifulness of sobriety? But all drunkards do not follow 
their convictions. The same may be said of burglars, and thieves, and sensualists? 
and multitudes of others. The doctrine of Mr. H. is contradicted by innumerable 
facts from day to day. Men are not solely under the guidance of their understand- 
ings. There are other authorities which they acknowledge, and to which they 
render obedience. Before they can be induced to change the objects of their 
pursuit, to live for new and different ends from what they have previously followed, 
and alter the whole course of their conduct, their heart must be influenced as well 
as their understanding. Men can resist evidence, close their eyes to proofs, and 
act contrary to what is most plainly their duty. This they frequently do. More- 
over men may warp their judgments, blunt their perceptive faculty, and dis- 
qualify themselves for the reception of evidence, by the prosecution of a wrong 
course. In that case the deficiency of which they complain is not in the evidence 
presented to them, but in their own injured capacities ? 

Mr. H. says the differences among Christians involve infidelity. How so ? Are 
all infidels of one heart and mind? Then do the differences among infidels involve 
the truth of Christianity ? Do the differences of atheists imply Theism ? Or the 
differences of Socialists the opposite doctrine ? Mr. H. won't say anything of 
the kind. Then of what value is his argument ? 

Nature, in the opinion of Mr. H., is self-existent and eternal. This is a first 
and cardinal doctrine with him. He frequently refers to it in his writings, and as 
often introduces it in his lectures. Yet he supplies no proof of its truthfulness- 
makes no attempt at demonstration — adduces not even a solitary illustration. He" 
merely asserts it ; and under the form of a bare assertion leaves it. But thus no 
intelligent man will be satisfied. Mr. H.'s ipse dixit is not sufficient; until rigid 
arguments, irresistible proof, overwhelming evidence are adduced, the assertion 
that the world is self-existent and eternal will go for nothing, and be treated by 
thinking men as it deserves. The general belief of mankind, the discoveries of 
geology, the histories of nations, the recent date of existing arts, and the per- 
petual changes that are going on in the world around us, all go to show that 
neither man nor nature has existed for ever. And then what shall we say of the 
disposition of the material of the world, and of its universal harmonies and adapta- 
tions? The world could not make itself. It possesses no intelligence; yet the 
impress of the highest conceivable intelligence is everywhere exhibited by it. As 
has been well said, ' The Crystal Palace is the embodiment of an idea conceived 
and perfected in a personal intelligence. It has been constituted by rule and com- 
pass, measure and weight, and according to the suggestions of wisdom and skill. 
All the variety of its extraordinary contents bear the impress of thought and pur- 
pose, design and contrivance, faculty and power ; but no one confounds the work 


with the •workmen, or imagines that the skill impressed on the productions is 
something inherent in the productions themselves, or that they have sprung, by 
necessity, from the impulse or operation of unintelligent force ! Any one who 
saw the apparently confused and chaotic jumble of coarse packages and unarranged 
materials, as they lay about the building, previous to being put into harmonious 
order, could never have imagined that they had, in themselves, any tendency to 
take the places and assume the appearances to which they were destined, indepen- 
dently of the mind, the thought, plan, reason, and ability of the person or persons 
by whom all was to be effected. Even if it had been possible to conceive such a 
thing — to conceive, namely, that they should, without the immediate agency of 
hands, have gradually arranged themselves into beautiful groups, and that thus 
confusion was to be succeeded by order — this would only have been regarded as 
the result of processes to which they had been subjected by human sagacity, and 
as the proof of profounder and more wonderful contrivance on the part of the 
presiding genius of the scene. Instead of tempting a thoughtful observer to con- 
found and identify the thing done with the actual doer — or to lose sight of him, 
and attribute all to necessity or chance, or to some mysterious appetencies in the 
things themselves— it would only have carried the idea of personality further 
back, and have augmented his admiration of the attributes that distinguished it. 
In the same way, adhering to the truth that the heavens and the earth are an 
actual creation, then, whatever may have been the processes through which they 
gradually passed till the whole fabric was developed and perfected, all was the 
work of a personal agent, distinct from the actual universe itself, and all that was done 
was accomplished through the action of those laws which he framed — to which he 
subjected them — which he administered — which the things did not originate — 
which they could not understand, and from which they could not escape. He — 
the living, spiritual, personal God — was the Mover and Maker, the Designer and 
Doer from first to last.' James Fleming. 


To the Editor of the Lancaster Gtuirdian, 

SiK, — As the Rev. Mr. Fleming has closed his review of my recent lectures in 
Lancaster (which review I have read with interest), some explanation is due to 
that gentleman on points which he has failed to conceive accurately, and which he 
doubtless desires shall be stated fairly ; and the newspaper public (now the 
matter has been submitted to them) will consider themselves entitled ik> hear both 
sides of a question upon which they are appealed to for a verdict. In comply- 
ing with this expectation I shall, however, be brief. If indeed I wrote at greater 
length than Mr. Fleming I might stand excubed. On my adversary's side is the 
prejudice of the age — the willing ear of the influential — the cry of the multitude 
and the sanction of the law : to which I have to oppose an advocacy which per- 
secution has made ambiguous, calumny unpopular, and bigotry dangerous. My 
appeal also in this case is to an audience of which few have examined the question, 
and none dare declare their conviction. But I shall for other reasons attempt no 
lengthy answer. You, sir, (the Editor of the Lancaster Gtiardian,) have before 
admitted communications on my behalf. The customs of this country are adverse 
to hearing any but the religious advocate in the newspapers, and I am anxious not 
to trespass on impartiality so unusual as that which you have manifested. It is 
certainly some abatement of any further apprehension I might feel to find myself 


in so fair a way of being acceptable where I had little reason to expect it. Mr. 
Ffeming is so impressed that what I have said already 'has been productive of 
great and lasting good,' that I shall not be surprised, on another visit, should he 
offer me the use of his own chapel, as he cannot himself hope to do more than 
accomplish 'great and lasting good ' by his happiest ministration. 

This gentleman represents me as complaining of the delivery of certain tracts 
at my lectures, which the deliverers believed to contain nothing but the 'truth,' and 
of which 1 did not demonstrate the falsity — and on these accounts Mr. Fleming 
brings against me the threefold charge of 'inconsistency, unfairness, and intolerance.' 
One of the tracts delivered at the doors of my lecture room represented all infidels, 
and me by implication, as ' men who lie in wait to deceive, who are bent on ruining 
the present peace and future prospects of mankind, and promise men liberty while 
they themselves are the servants of corruption,^ and much else equally rude — setting 
the example of bad taste, bad spirit, and bad manners. Why should I disprove the 
falsity of that of which the falsity was evident, especially as Mr. Fleming did not 
say, and has not said, and will not, I think, attempt to say, one word in their 
justification ? If I objected to them, it was because under the circumstances they 
were no part of free discussion — they were a calumny and an intimidation. But my 
Reverend Reviewer declares that according to my principles I ought not to have 
complained of the delivery of these tracts, an instance of how little Mr. Fleming 
knows of my principles. Certainly it is an axiom with me that every man has a 
moral right to circulate what he believes to be true ; and he has a right also to 
take the consequence if he circulates what is false. I have never maintained t^at 
the libeller is entitled to public applause because he is a conscientious libeller. 
The only freedom we ever demanded of the British Government has been that 
speculative opinion should be left free, subject only, when bad, to the chastise- 
ment of better opinion. My demand has been that opinion, whether right or wrong, 
whether foul or fair, should not be visited by legal penalties, but left entirely to 
the moral penalties of public reprobation. It is evident, therefore, that in visiting 
those Tracts with reprobation, I was acting in strict accordance with a long- 
avowed, healthy, self-sustaining, self-defensive principle. Mr. Fleming argues as 
though every man who is the advocate of freedom of opinion is in consequence 
disqualified from protesting against its abuse. This is the logic which would sap 
the strength of the friends of a wise liberty, and inflate the pretensions of tyranny. 
Not to fall in with this is, in Mr. Fleming's eyes, 'inconsistency, unfairness, and 

Considering the strange medley of opinions Mr. Fleming has collected together 
and ascribed to me, it must be owing either to his charity or the latent state of his 
ingenuity that he has not made me appear ridiculous. Because I (following the 
theory of Bailey) explained that no doctrine could be considered as established 
unless universally discussed and accepted, Mr. Fleming represents me as holding doctrine, of any other order, is to be believed. If this were my view I 
should create an immense difficulty in the way of any new opinion being believed ; 
for if we must wait for the whole world to examine and accept it first, we shall 
have to wait a considerable time. "Whereas my argument was, that though we 
might believe our opinions true upon individual examination, we could not con- 
sider them in the light of established truths (neither I mine, nor Mr. Fleming his) 
until they had won universal assent in the arena of free and universal discussion— 
an ordeal which helps to guarantee their absolute truth — an ordeal to which all 
opinions involving the risk of a future life ought to be submitted, as a matter of 


Mr. Fleming, never averse to imputation, declares I * do not deal honestly ' with 
Christianity — thnt I oppose the systems of men as that of the New Testament. 
You win be surprised, Mr. Editor, to learn that 1 took the crucifixion of Jesus 
Christ, the Son of God, to be the central fact of the Christian system — that Christ 
died to take away the sins of the world, that it was necessary for Cnrist to die to 
save us from the wrath to come. Does Mr, Fleming deny this to be Christianity? 
If he does, will he be good enough to tell me what it is that he preaches as Christi- 
anity, when the Son of God and his death on CalvarV; and sin against Heaven and 
the wrath to come, are taken away? These were the doctrines to which I had the 
painful task of objecting, and if these were not an honest selection let Mr. Fleming 
name one, and I will endeavour to meet his views. 

True, I said that if sufficient evidence (to me) of the Divine existence was placed 
before me, the law of the human understanding was such that I must believe. 
Mr. Fleming thinks himself called upon to refute this truism, and he attempts 
by asking ' What drunkard is not convinced of the evil of intemperance ? but all 
drunkards do not follow their convictions.' But the question is not * what do 
drunkards follow,' (I would rather Mr. Fleming adopted sober illustrations,) but 
what do drunkards believe? Will Mr. Fleming tell us that while a drunkard 
is convinced of the evil of intemperance, that he does not believe in the evil of in- 
temperance ? What makes drunkards follow drunkenness, though convinced of 
its evil, is a question of conduct which I have no objection to discuss, but it has 
nothing to do with the present question of belief. 

In what way ' differences among Christians involve infidelity,' which Mr. Flem- 
ing says I alleged, I know not. I therefore pass by that passage, which eludes 
both my recollection and my understanding. 

Grounds for helieving in the self-existence and eternity of NaLure, which Mr. 
Fleming appears to ask for, may be stated thus. Nature is something. Whence 
could it have come ? Out of nothing ? We cannot understand that — we cannot 
conceive it. We rather conclude that it is self-existent. And what could never 
have begun to be, must always have been, hence the self-existent appears to be 
also eternal. Mr. Fleming's account of this matter doubtless appears simple to 
him, but to me it presents insuperable difficulties. The end of controversy is the 
explanation of our mutual views. It is the part of the public to judge between us. 

That Nature which has the majestic attribute of self-existence, has doubtless 
the lesser attribute of self-action. The theory of Nature which I hold teaches me 
to see and to own its inherent sublimity and wondrous manifestations. The theory 
of Mr. Fleming degrades it into a mere instrument, and God into a handicraftsman 
— into some indefinite Mr. Paxton, the fabricator of a Universal Conservatory. A 
writer, certainly not to be suspected of partiality to atheism, has described the 
idea of Mr. Fleming's elaborate paragraph upon the Crystal Palace as turning 
upon ' the whole current hypothesis of the Universal being a machine, and then of 
an Architect, who constructed it, sitting as it were apart and guiding it, and seeing 
it go — which may turn out an inanity and nonentity, not much longer tenable ; 
with which result we shall in the quietest manner reconcile ourselves. Our Na- 
tural Theologies may, in reference to the strange season they appear in, have a 
certain value, and be worth printing and reprinting, only let us understand/or 
whom, and how, they are valuable, and be in no wise wroth with the atheist, whom 
they have not convinced, and could not, and should not convince.'* 

George Jacob Holyoake. 

* Carlyle's Miscellanies, p. 321, vol. iv.j Art. Diderot. 



aBeUragan Cljurtf). 


[For some time past Mr. Ernest Jones has been issuing ' Poems and Notes to the 
People.- On looking over the first four numbers we were attracted by the great 
beauty of the ' Beldagon Church.' Other poems in these four numbers are more 
admired— the ' New World ' for its political sentiments, the ' Painter of Florence ' 
for the finish of some passages. The death of the Painter is indeed a masterly 
sketch. We select ' Beldagon Church,' because of its subject ; but our admiration 
is not founded upon that, but upon the intrinsic beauty of the poem. It abounds 
in passages of poetic beauty, delicate appreciation of Nature, eloquence, contrast, 
and wit. The quotation of it below is much abridged, in order to present the 
whole picture in our available space ; yet we have retained the passages of adora- 
tion and pantheistic recognition of God in Nature, which contain more power and 
feeling than six cantos rolled into one by the Rev. ' Satan ' Montgomery, whose 
praise is in all the churches. The reader will find Mr. Jones's poem more effective 
in its original fulness. We italicise passages which the author would not be sup- 
posed capable of writing ; indeed, his talent is so various, and his performances so 
unequal, that those who do not take the trouble to study him in various aspects 
will form a very inadequate estimate of him. No political objection, save a quali- 
fied one, can now lie against Mr. Jones — any other will sure to be erroneous and 
unjust; for he manifests such various talent, that he astonishes you as much by 
his wisdom as by his extravagance, as his political advice in his * Notes for the 
People ' shows. Nor are the poems of equal merit. Any man who writes poems 
weekly will be sure to write bad ones sometimes, but the power to write a good 
one is so rare that men take note of it. We question whether any poem of greater 
beauty on the whole than Beldagon Church has appeared for a long time ; and in 
such an unpretending way such a poem was never presented, it being but the fourth 
part of one weekly twopenny number of ' Poems and Notes for the People.'] 

1. The Walk to Church. 
Loud the lofty belfry rung, 
Wide the massy portal swung — 
For Beldagon's Cathedral-fane 
A proud Assembly sought again. 
High the fields are waving ; 
Orchard fruit is blest — 
Summer's merry saving 
For winter's happy rest. 
O'er the clover lea 
The blossom-loving bee, 
Neglectful of her Maker 
Tho' 'tis Sunday-morn, 
Little Sabbath-breaker ! 
Winds her humming horn. 

Bell and book unheeding. 
The quiet kine are feeding, 
The birds are on the wing, 
The pebbled runnels ring, 
The rivers still are flowing, 
The graceful corn is growing, 
The frolic wind is blowing — 
And yet, the world caressing, 
Unwrinkled by a frown, 
The blue sky sends a blessing 
On all creation down. 

In Beldagon's cathedral-fane. 
From tesselled floor to gilded vane 
Hangs that deep, sepulchral gloom 
That turns a church into a tomb. 
Marble mourners coldly weep ! 
Graves are for a pavement spread ; 
A stifling air is overhead : 
'Tis not the home of those who sleep. 
It is a prison for the dead ! 

But ere you pass yon portal, stay ! 
The bells have yet a space to chime — 
Then let them toll their sullen rhyme, 
And come away awhile with me 
To harvest -field and clover lea ; 
Sit by Nature's side, and pray, 
And join her service for the day: 
Every whispering leaf's a preacher, 
Every daisy is a teacher, 
Writing on the unsullied sod 
Revelation straight from God. 
Then, while yon solemn belfry swings. 
List how Earth her matin sings. 
We shall return in time to hear 
How Saints adore and sinners fear. 



2, The Ritual of Nature. 
Mistily, dreamily steals a faint glimmer — 
Hill-tops grow lighter, though stars become 
dimmer : 

First a streak of grey ; 
Then a line of green ; 
Then a sea of roses 
With golden isles between. 
All along the dawn-lit prairies 
Stand the flowers, like tip- toe fairies, 
Waiting for the early dew : 
Glistening — 
As the morning 
Walks their airy muster thro'. 
All the new-born blossoms christening 
With a sacrament of dew. 
See ! a shadow moves 
Down the mountain furled : 
It is a thin grey shadow- 
Yet it moves the world. 
For hist ye ! list ye I what is gliding 
Where the trail is newly laid ? 
In the herbage hiding, 
Thro' the bushes sliding, 
With the moving shadow ? 
Crowds of timid things, 
Paws, and feet, and wings. 
All thro' the boughs and bufhy glade, 
And o'er the clover meadow. 
There they pass 
Through the grass, 
And the shaken 
Drops awaken 
Lines of light 
On their flight ; 
And there 
The hare, 
With head erect 
And ears bent over, 
Peers around 
Above the clover, 
From the mound 
The mole has made, 
To detect 
An ambuscade. 
And gaze aloft, where riven 
Thro' the parted heaven. 
Cleaves a snowy stream ; 
Between its cloudy shores 
A towering eagle soars 

To bathe in the first sunbeam. 
And comes back to the mountains dun 
To tell them he has seen the sun. 

Then the skies grow bold ; 
Fast the day mounts high ; 
Forth, in cloudless glory, 
y Bursts the flashing fire ! 

And where the warm rays quiver 
On pool, and rill, and river — 

Whirling, twirling, 

Upward curling. 
Vapoury columns, music rife, 

Meeting, parting, 

Backward darting — 
Swarms the merry insect life. 

Lone, the chanticleer 
Crew reveillee long ; 
'Tis now his turn to hear 
The world awake to song. 

The flower that isings 

As the sunlight clings 
On the petal ivith finger of gold ; 

And the forest — that harp of a mil- 
lion strings. 
And ceolian melodies old I 

While the voice of the springs 

In the mountain rings 
The great key-note of the main, 

And the light cloud flings 

From its shadowy wings 
The laugh of the dancing rain. 

Then the birds all pause 

On the blossoming shaws 
As the drop on the branch they hear, 

And the thunder, that awes. 

Like a giant's applause, 
The song it was given to cheer. 

And the labourer's lay 

Is enlivening day. 
And the shepherd boy answering wild ; 

And the young at their play 

In the new-mown hay, [child ; 

And the mother's sweet song to her 

As if nature, intent 
To surpass all she lent 
In the breath of the rose and the coo 
of the dove, [verse sent 

To crown the great hymn of the uni - 
Human Love. 
While wanton luxury's saintly child 
Sleeps off the nights debauches wild. 
When fields are dew and skies are balm 
Thus nature sings her morning psalm. 

And a spirit glides before me. 

Pointing all the moral true ; 
Oh, my God, how I adore thee 

When I walk thy wonders thro'— 
Learning Spring's romantic story, 
Or the Summer's tale of glory, 
Or the Autumn's legend hoary, 

Old as earth, yet ever new. 
Nor is it sadder when the Winter 

Lays his hand, tho' wet and cold, 

On bough and blossom,grassand mould, 
Saying, in his breathings deep — 
Mortal, rest ! and Nature, sleep ! 
But unto nought that livetb, weep. 



For ever the loving hand of Heaven 
Heals the wound that man has given ; 
Reptile, bird, and beast of prey 
From half the world are swept away — 
Those who took the taint, decay. 
And ever the stream of Trn this flowing; 
And ever the seed of Peace is growing ; 
And ever a voice is stealing, 
The gospel of Love revealing ; 
Flower and mountain, wave and wind 
Say — God is good ; and God is kind ; 
He frowns at fear, and grief, and care, 
And man's worst blasphemy, despair. 
For jovis praise, and peace is prayer, 
And Heaven is near, and Earth is bright, 
And God is Love, and Life, and Light. 

Now the wind is slow subsiding ; 
On the boughs the birds are hiding ; 
The herds are standing by the stream ; 
The motes are pausing on the beam ; 
As tho' they heard the noontide say. 
With hushing glory, ' Let us pray.' 
And, hark ! the booming bells give o'er ; 
Then back to Beldagon once more. 

3. The Service. 

In the churchyard's elraen shade 
Glittering chariots stand arrayed ; 
The coachmen on the boxes nod ; 
The horses paw the sacred sod ; 
And round the porch are laughing loud 
The lounging lacqueys' liveried crowd. 
But now behold we are within. 
Safe from sunshine and from sin. 

Silks have rustled, fans have fluttered — 
Sneers and compliments been uttered ; 
And many found, as find they ought, 
In church the object that they sought: 
Business finds a turn in trade; 
Praise, its victim ; wit, its butt; 
New acquaintance have been made. 
Old acquaintance have been cut. 

Now the congregation's seated, 
And the church is growing heated 
With a heavy, perfumed air 
Of scents, and salts, and vinegar. 
The morning prayers are ending — 
The psalmody's ascending ; 
The great men, lowly bending, 
Turn their gilded leaves about. 
Most ostentatiously devout. 

Then, like the flutter of a full pit 

When a favourite passage comes, 
As the Bishop mounts his pulpit 

Sink the whispers, coughs, and hums. 
And, here and there, a scattered sinner, 
Rising in the House of God, 
Shows he 
Knows the 


Bishop, with a smile and nod. 

The Prelate bows his cushioned knee : 
Oh, the Prelate's fat to see ; 
Fat the priests who minister, 
Fat each roaring chorister, 
Prebendary, Deacon, Lector, 
Chapter, Chanter, Vicar, Rector, 
Curate, Chaplain, Dean, and Pastor, 
Verger, Sexton, Clerk, Schoolmaster — 
From mitre tall to gold-laced hat 
Fat's the place, and all are fat. 

The bishop rises from his knee. 
And thus begins his homily : — 


Sink and tremble, wretched sinners ; the 

Almighty Lord has hurled 
His curse for everlasting on a lost and 

guilty world ! 
Upon the ground beneath your feet ; upon 

the sky above your head ; 
Upon the womb that brings you forth ; upon 

the toil that gives yon bread ! 
On all that lives, and breathes, and moves, 

in earth, and air, and wave ; 
On all that feels, and dreams, and thinks : 

on cradle, house, and grave. 
For Adam murdered innocence, — and since 

the world became its hearse. 
Throughout the living sphere extending 

breeds and spreads the dreadful curse. 
Nay ! Beside all certain scourges, dreader 

evils rise as well : 
Plague, and war, and famine sweep their 

countless victims down to Hell ! 
All for special sin commissioned, as the Al- 
mighty rod was held 
Over Europe's insurrections when its sa- 
vages rebelled. 
Ha ! How they rotted ! How they perished ! 

Myriads stricken, day by day ! 
Rebels yielded — men submitted — and the 

wrath was turned away. 
Brethren ! profit by the lesson ! see the hand 

that's stretching down 
To shield the woolsack, counter, ledger, 

altar, mitre, sabre, crown I 
Then be patient in Affliction ! envy not the 

rich and great ! 
'A contrite and a broken heart' alone shall 

enter at the gate. 
You may think the rich are happy, but you 

little know the cost : 
By the gain of earthly treasures are eternal 

treasures lost. 
For this life is short and fleeting, and they 

choose a poorer share ; 



Let them revel — let them triumph : they 

shall suffer douhly there. 
Your afflictions are your blessings; by dis- 
aster you are tried ; 
Those are happiest who are saddest, if the 

searching test they bide. 
Tears are gladder far than smiles ; disease 

is healthier far than health; 
Rags are warmer far than ermine ; want is 

richer far than wealth ; 
Hunger feeds you more than plenty; strife 

is peace and peace is strife ; 
Loss is gain and gain is loss ; life is death 

and death is life. 
Check the proud repining spirit — bare the 

back and kiss the rod ; 
Humbled, crushed, and broken-hearted is 

the state that pleases God. 
Listen not to idle schemers, pointing to 

Utopian goals ; 
Yours is more than work enough to save 

your miserable souls. 
Dream not of amelioration ; future ages 

still shall nurse 
Jn their breast the ancient serpent, the ir- 
revocable curse. 
'Tis writ, ' I came fo bring a sword.' 'Tis 

writ, ' The poor shall never cease.' 
'Tis blasphemy to talk of plenty, heresy to 

think of peace ! 
By nature you are all corrupt, and doomed, 

and damned, and lost in sin ; 
Each natural thought, each natural wish 

is searching Satan's lure within ! 
And, to crown the gloomy prospect, should 

a single hope aspire. 
Hangs o'er all the Day of Judgment with 

its world-destroying fire I 

The bishop bows with reverence bland, 
And leans his head upon his hand ; 
Then up the aisles and arches dim 
Peals the deep resounding hymn : — 


The heart's a black pollution ; 

Pest is in the breath ; 
Each limb's a dark conspirator, 

Compassing our death ; 

The mind's a moral ulcer ; 

The veins with venom roll ; 
And life is one great treason 

Of sense against the soul. 

A subtle fiend is lurking 
In land, and air, and wave; 

The very ground beneath you 
Is but an open grave ; 

For Earth's a brittle casing 
O'er the raging fires of Hell, 

Breaking in at every footstep 
Since our father Adam fell. 

In every bird that carols. 
In every flower that blows, 

In every fruit that ripens 
Behold your secret foes. 

Tn every hour and moment, 

In every pulse that flies. 
In every breath and accent 

The flames of hell arise. 

Throughout the night, the Devil 
Sits whispering at your ear : 

Your dreams are all his prompting, 
Your prayers are all his fear. 

Let tears bedew your pillow, 

And tremble as you sleep; 
Arise next morn in sorrow, 

And work, and watch, and weep. 

For every word you utter. 

For every deed you do, 
Hell fire for everlasting 

May rack you through and through. 

All science, song, and masic, 

And poetry, and art. 
Are Satan's foul devices 

To snare the sinner's heart. 

In books there lurks a danger 

That's hardly understood ; 
The best are scarcely harmless, 

And none of them are good. 

Religion takes for granted ; 

Faith never murmurs ' why ?' 
To think, is to be tempted ; 

To reason, is to die ! 

Bohold a mask in friendship. 
The Tempter's face to hide ; 

A pagod in Affection ; 
And Hell on every side. 

The blood of Christ, atoning, 
Might wash your sin away ; 

But, that you've won salvation. 
No mortal tongue can say. 

For, when you've done your utmost. 
Small glimpse of hope is there : 

Then, sinner ! on thy death-bed, 
Sink, tremble, and despair ! 

The Bishop now indulges in 

A spiritual fiction. 
And from the hand that holds a curse 

He pours a benediction. 

The blessing's o'er— the rites are done, 

The organ wails its last ; 
And from the Church of Beldagon 

The crowd are flitting fast. 


From which any earnest opponent may controvert our opinions, and from which any may expound views 
not coincident with our own, if tending to the Rationalisation of Theology. 


Sir, — For a long time past I have been a reader of your Reasoner, and however 
much I differ from your conclusions, I cannot butaimire your freedom of thought, 
boldness of expression, and independence of action. With the sentiment embodied 
in your motto I cordially agree, and I think that a person who acts up to it so well 
as yourself will willingly receive a communication from one who fears that you 
sometimes mistake your position, and confound the thing called Christianity with 
the sayings, teachings, and actions of Christ. 

I conceive your abilities are misapplied. In attempting to destroy Christianity 
you must remember you are destroying all the goodness and virtue that it em- 
braces, as well as its supposed evils. I believe in God and in Christ, but my be- 
lief in both I consider to be as much founded in reason as your disbelief. Instinct, 
and all but universal assent, proclaim the great First Cause ; and an opinion so 
widely, deeply, and long assented to, has its foundation in a truth that cannot be 
safely ignored. 

You, as well as myself, know that orthodoxy is not Christianity, and that it is 
not fair to confound the monstrosities of mankind with the eternal truth of God. 
Infidelity is preferable to devils, hell fire, and a God dooming the vast majority 
of his creatures to eternal torment. But every thing must be viewed divested of 
its accidents and corruptions, and if we take the teachings and spirit of Christ, we 
shall find that they sanction neither ancient mummeries nor modern absurdities. 
According to him love is the essence of religion, and the test by which the good 
man must be known. 

Catholicism is not consistent Christianity. It is consistent orthodoxy. "Were I 
not a rationalist I should be a Catholic, for I see no medium, any more than 
Newman can, between the absolute right of private judgment and absolute depen- 
dence on authority. Were Evangelicals true to their own professions of belief in 
the depravity of nature, the wickedness of reason, the doctrine of the Trinity, &c., 
they would at once join the Church of Rome. But Protestants have enough of 
private judgment to prevent the climax of absurdity. They stop half way to the 
Pope, and by and by when they perceive the consequences of their own dogmas 
they will retrace their steps, and view him whom they worship divested of all 
those qualities which are more provocative of hatred than affection. 

What your moral objections to Christianity can be I cannot conceive. The 
spirit of all Christ's teachings is pure and heavenly. If your opinions are formed 
by what is said of Christ, then your moral objections must exist in great abundance. 
But Christ never wrote any thing for posterity, nor commanded any thing to be 
written, but he left behind him an influence and spirit that admits of e-ternal pro- 
gress, and modifies all external institutions. Paul, a man inferior only to his master 
in the utterance of all-embracing truths, says — ' He was made a minister of the New 
Testament not of the letter but of the spirit, for the letter killeth but the spirit 
giveth life.' If you judge of Christianity by the letter, then it is an absurdity ; 
but if you judge of it by its spirit, then it includes every principle of virtue and 

I am often surprised at the ft-ivoulous nature of the charge brought against 
Christ. The other day, in your Reasoner, a writer condemned him because he is 
reported to have said * I come not to send peace but a sword ' (Mat. x., 32.) Now 


it is evident to the most superficial observer that Christ here refers to the con- 
vulsions and animosities excited by new opinions, whether true or false. In all 
history there is no fact more evident, than that the promulgation of good * sets 
people together by the ears,' and produces for a time a state of anarchy, confusion, 
and disaster, quite foreign to the ultimate effect. Christ simply utters an estab- 
lished fact, a natural law, a law that you have yourself exemplified, acknowledged, 
and enforced. 

I fear to encroach to« much on your time and space. I will say in conclusion 
that T hope you and your fellow workers will judge the Bible and Christ in the 
same impartial manner that you form opinions of other documents and characters. 
Look on the Bible as a history of mind — as a book containing what people thought 
of Deity. No one can entirely divest himself of the character of the age in which 
he lives. But moral truths depend, for their authority, not on any amount of 
evidence, and what book is so full of these as the Bible. In it, all moral sayings 
and discoveries have been anticipated. And what character stands out like that of 
Christ's? If such a being were met with in Grecian or Roman history he wonld 
be the constant object of laudation. Then why refuse him his just meed of praise 
and reverence because his followers have deified him, put into his mouth words 
that he never spoke, attributed to him actions that he never performed, and 
made him responsible for all the miserable sophistries and dogmas which they have 

Southampton. Heney Nokeington. 

[Some answer is due to this correspondent, especially as he writes to us for the 
first time. "Would ' Undecimus,' or * William Chilton ' answer for the editor, who 
is at this time too fully engaged ?— -Ed.] 


Every month brings with it the English Republic. Nos. 5, 6, and 7, for May, 
June, and July, have duly appeared. If they contained no more than the pieces 
from the writings of Mazzini, they furnish contributions to the literature of pro- 
gress not otherwise accessible to the English reader — and for this Mr. Linton 
deserves our thanks, if for nought else. Besides, there are excellent things of his 
own, containing a quality of practical earnestness not evident in the same degree 
in other political writers. Then his exquisite ascetism of comment on Chartist 
proceedings is not to, be lightly enjoyed. At present republicanism is counted a 
somewhat superfluous advocacy; but it is the only logically-consistent one among 
democratic advocates, and will come into wider favour yet. The last number con- 
tains a series of epitaphs, from which wo extract two specimens of Mr. Linton's 
mode of commemorating the politically dead. The first is ' For a Small Column 
in Memory of the affliction of M. Thiers :' — 

' Thiers has had a cancer on his tongue. 
No wonder! Would you know the reason why ? 
When pimples have from trivial falsehoods sprung, 
What must he have whose whole life is a lie ?' 

The second epitaph is intended to stand ' In the Jesuits' Burial Ground :' — 

' A murderer to the very bone— 
A traitor to the marrow — 
Cain and Iscariot both in one : 
Here lies Odillon Barrot.' 



In the Zoist for July we find a quotation from the Lancet, of February 8th, ult., 

which states that * Mdlle. Julie de B • practises mesmerism extensively, and we 

are told successfully, upon Sir Benjamin Hall, Bart., the M. P. for Marylebone, 
whose confidence in the profession we recommend the medical electors of Maryle- 
bone to remember when he next solicits their sweet voices at an election.' A 
more extraordinary passage than this we never read in a clerical journal. If a 
member of parliament is ill, is he to be denied the privilege of selecting his own 
mode of cure, under the penalty of losing his seat ? It is the same thing as dis- 
qualifying the member because he goes to a dissenting chapel. What would Mr. 
Wakley say if the electors of Finsbury were called upon to reject him because he 
did not go to a hydropathic establishment the last time he was ill ? The Zoist for 
this quarter is rich in exposures of this species of medical bigotry. The Noncon- 
formist, of June 25th, ult., contains a tribute to Dr. EUiotson, and a gratifying 
recognition of the science of magnetism, thus expressed : — ' It would suffice to 
redeem any opinion on natural phenomena from contempt, that Reichenbach and 
Dr. Gregory gave it the authority of their names, and sustained it by generalised 
results of careful experiments. We cannot think that these men will have the 
fate of that man of highly-cultivated and philosophic mind, Dr. EUiotson, who 
has borne the obloquy and opposition incident to his professional study and 
employment of magnetism, with the dignity and self-respect truly becoming a 
scientific man in possession of a truth too refined and advanced for the immediate 
adoption of the age.' 

A Refugee Circular is published by Melsom, of Liverpool, at Id. It contains 
prayers and articles by refugees, addresses by friends, and acknowledgments of 
subscriptions. The introduction to the article in No. 2 contains these words : — 
' So much misrepresentation exists in the country respecting the conditions on 
which the refugees left Turkey, (occasioned by the falsehoods so industriously) 
circulated by a portion of the Liverpool press, that we deem it advisable to reprint 
Major Wolynski's "Answer to the article which appeared in the Liverpool Mercury, 
of March 7th, 1851."' The words we have put in parentheses had been better 
omitted. Sympathising fully with the object of the Circular, we would have it 
as effective as possible. Correct evfiry error, but in a foreign advocacy be neutral 
to those who make it. 

Apropos to Melsom's publications, we may observe, that Coansellor Ironside, of 
Sheffield, who for many years has refused to vote, has resumed that duty. This 
desirable change in his notions has been brought about by the letters on ' Direct 
Legislation,' by M. Rittinghausen, reviewed p. 423 in our last volume, published 
by Melsom. 

The same publisher has brought out another useful translation by Victor Con- 
siderant, entitled ' The Difficulty Solved ; or, the Government of the People by 
Themselves.' Our Chartist readers will find this work worth their attention, and 
also the reply to it, a brilliant critique by Louis Blanc, entitled ' Plus de Giron- 
din,' to be had of Jeffs, Burlington Arcade. 

A small and often-desired volume has just been issued by George Tayler, of the 
Inner Temple, containing a variety of information which one would not expect to 
find necessarily included in such a subject. The mere enumeration of its subject 
will point out its value to our readers connected with Literary and Scientific 
Institutions It is entitled 'The Law as to the Exemption of Scienti^c and 
Literary Institutions from the Parish and other Local Rates, with practical direc- 


tions to such Societies, Mechanics' Institutes, &c., thereon, and Comments on the 
Policy of the Law and Exemptions from Rateability. With an Appendix of the 
Statute of 6 & 7 Vict., c. 36, and Verbatim Reports of the Cases decided in Hilary 
Term, 1851, and to the Royal Manchester Institution and the Manchester Concert 

There is a publication issued at 2d. in Glassow, entitled the Freeman. In a 
religious sense it has both interest and merit. The editor, the Rev. Charles 
Clarke, says in No. 1, ' We have omitted " Christian " in the name of our journal 
in order that we might be free to introduce a greater variety of subjects than 
could with propriety appear under this term,' We observe some excellent papers 
by ' Atticus,' and other notable articles. 

We have received a volume entitled ' National Education ' from the author, Mr. 
James Miller. It struck us, on its appearance in 1834, as being a work of very 
novel treatment. The principles of morality, metaphysics, politics, and political 
economy are elicited and demonstrated after a mathematical fashion. We sup- 
posed it to have been long out of print, but, as we find this is not the case, we 
would advise the author to get it before the public. 

The Whittington Club has lately refused to permit the Reasoner to lie upon the 
reading room table, to which it was formerly supplied by a member of the Club. 
The rejection, we believe, was founded upon a review of a book — which review 
was unexceptionable of itself, but some member of the library committee did not 
like the book reviewed, which he had read. If the same rule were followed univer- 
sally, all the journals published would be excluded from all the news rooms in the 
country, Mr. Holyoake, being a member of the Club, wrote and offered to supply 
the monthly parts gratuitously. The offer was declined in the following letter ; — 
' Sir, — I am directed by the managing committee to inform you, that they decline 
your offer of the Reasoner for the reading room of the institution, with thanks. — 
I am, sir, yours respectfully, W. Stkudwicke, Sec' ^ 

Those who remember the wonderful papers of Pel Verjuice, on marine service, 
■will have some idea of the kind of revelations made on this subject by an Old 
Seaman. Mr. Watts, of Islington, whose energetic services in political and 
religious reform have long been known in circles where the actual work is done, 
has now contributed an extraordinary pamphlet to the cause of the sailors, entitled 
the ' Warning Voice of a Seaman ; or. Five Years' Slavery in the British Navy.' 
There is no mistaking its genuineness; its language is that of a sailor; and it 
contains much which none but a sailor could or would write. Some of the news- 
papers have given extracts from it on the ground of their romantic interest. We 
only know of one case — that of Pel Verjuice — in which a sailor ever acquired the 
ability and retained the resolution to tell his own story when he had the means ; 
for the wonder is that either ability or spirit should survive such slavery and 
cruelty as that through which Mr. Watts has passed. This compact little book of 
eighty duodecimo pages, published by Watson, is specially calculated to serve the 
cause of reform in the navy, which has begun to be agitated in some of our sea- 
ports; and we commend it to the attention of our friends wherever coacerned in 
this needful agitation. Mr. Watts, at considerable expense, has presented a copy 
to every member of parliament. Every British sailor ought to have a copy in his 
possession, if only out of respect to one of themselves who has so manfully vindi- 
cated their claims. 

G. J. H. 



EeaSoner ^irnpasaulra. 

To promote the efficiency of the Reasoner as an organ of Propagandism, one friend subscribes 10s. 
weekly, another 5s., one 2s. monthly, others la. each weekly— others intermediate sums or special 
remittances, according to ability or earnestness. An annual contribution of Is. from each reader 
would be easy, equitable, and sufficient. What is remitted, in whatever proportion, is acknowledged 
here and accounted for the at end of the Volume. 

Acknowledged in No. 266, 301s. — N. S. (half-yearly, which is always remitted 
the day on which it is due), 10s. — Mr. V. (a friend who, though he has long been 
blind, sends) 10s.— J. Shaw, Barrhead, Is. — R. Lockhead, do.. Is.— Robert Bell, 
Edinburgh, Is.— D. Murphy, Is. — R. W., Is.— Per Shaksperes, giren by W. J. 
B., 20s.— J. Scott, Methwold, Is.— William Holyoak, Leicester, Is.— Total, 349s. 
[Dr. Lees writes : — * I was much interested in your Lancaster Report, and as it is 
not right that any man should go into warfare at his own cost — and as the truth 
cannot be fully tested or brought out where we have only one side — I beg to 
enclose some books as my contribution towards the eliciting of it. The truth, 
I suppose, does not need more than fair play, and you ought to have no less. 
I send- a complete set of the Truth-Seeker and Present Age, nine parts (to be 
sold at wholesale price — 12s., published at 16s.) ; Jobert's * Philosophy of Geology,' 
with 'Thoughts on God, Genesis, &c.' (3s. 6d., published at 4s. 6d.) These books 
will lie at Mr. Watson's for sale.'] 


Literary Institution, John Street, Fitzroy Square. 
— July;22nd [8J], Discussion in the Coffee Room. 
Question, ' The Respective i\Ierit3 of Free Trade 
and Protection.' 20th [7i], Ernest Jones, 'Christ 
versus Mammon, or the doings of the Bishops.' 

Hall of Science, City Road.— July 20th [7i], 
Thomas Shorter, 'The Institutions of Lycurgus.' 

National Hall, 242, High Holborn.— Julv 20th | 
[8], P. \V. Perfitt. ' Luther, as the Victorious Man.' 

South London Hall, Corner of Webber Street, 
Blackfriars Road.— July 20th [7|], C.Southwell, 
'Pope, Gay, Pattison, Hammond, Savage, Hill, 
and Ticktli.' 

Institute of Progress, 10a, Upper George-street, 
Sloane-square. — July 18th [8], a Discussion. 20th, 
[7i], a lecture. 

Eclectic Institute, Denmark Street, Soho. — 
Every Friday [SJ], Mr. J. B. O'Brien, ' Home and 
Foreign Politics.' Every Sunday [74], on ' Moral 
and Social Science.' 

Areopagus Coffee and Reading Room, 59, vJhurch 
Lane, Whitechapel. — Every Sunday, Monday, and 
Wednesday (3), a Lecture or Discussion. 

City Forum Coffee House, 60, Red Cross Street. 
— Every Sunday, Monday, and Thursday [8^], a 

Commercial Hall, Philpot Street, Commercial 
Road East. — Every Tuesday and Thursday even- 
ing [8], a Discussion. 


Works published by J. Watson. 

THE LIBRARY of REASON, containing aseries 
of articles from the works of ancient and 
modern authors in favour of FREE INQUIRY. 
22 Nos. stitched in a wrapper, with Title and Con- 
tents price 1 6 

P.S. — Persons requiring single numbers to com. 
plete sets, can procure them from the publisher, or 
through his agents. 

Owen and Bacheler's Discussion on the Ex- 
istence of God and the Authenticity of the 
Bible. In 1 vol., neat cloth boards, price 4 6 

Discussion on God, in 1 vol., cloth 1 10 

Ditto ditto in a wrapper 1 4 

Discussion on the Bible, 1 vol., cloth 3 2 

Ditto ditto in a wrapper 3 8 

(Or in parts at 6d. each.) 
Popular Tracts, by Robert Dale Owen in 

1 vol., cloth boards 2 6 

The Bible of Reason, or Scriptures of Ancient 

and i\Iodem Authors. 1 thick vol. 8vo. c.let. 7 6 
Godwin's Political Justice, 2 vols, bound 

in one, cloth lettered 5 

Mirabaud's System of Nature, 2 vols, bound 

in one, cloth lettered 6 

Volney's Ruins of Empires and Law of 
Nature, \vith three engravings. 1 vol., 

cloth lettered 3 

("To be had in Five parts at 6d. each, or in 13 

numbers at 2d. each.) 
Shelley's Queen Mab, with all the notes, 1 

vol., cloth lettered 1 6 

Ditto ditto wrapper 1 

Trevelyan's Letter to Cardinal Wiseman . . 1 
The Revolution which began in Heaven : a 

Dramatic Vision of Time, by H. Lucas . . 6 
The Freethinker's Magazine, in 7 Nos. at 2d., 

and 2 Nos. at 6d. 
Volney's Lectures on History, 1 vol., cloth 1 6 
Ditto ditto ditto wrapper .... 1 
Frances Wright's Popular Lectures, 1 vol. 3 
Ditto ditto Few Days in Athens, 

1 vol., cloth lettered 1 6 

Ditto ditto wrapper 1 

London : James Watson, 3, Queen's Head Pas. 
sage. Paternoster -row. 

Just published. Part IX. and last, with 
Index, 2s. 6d. 

containing papers on Scepticism, ancient and 
modern ; on Idealism and Realism ; and on Phy- 
sical and Political Philosophy. — John Chapman, 
142, Strand, London. (No. 13 and list, vol. II., 
price 7d., post free, from Dr. Lees, Leeds.) 


Our Open page. 

Me. Luke Burke did deliver two lectures, one entitled ' A Demonstration of the 
Existence of a God, upon purely philosophical principles ;' the other ' An Inquiry 
into the Nature and Attributes of God, upon philosophical principles.' Mr. 
Holyoake replied to them in Mr. Burke's presence on two Sunday nights at the 
City Road Hall — but Mr. Burke could never be induced to publish them. 

Professor Kinkel, in a lecture on the drama at Willis's Rooms, remarked that, 
in spite of Shakspere's greatness, it was injudicious to take him for a model in the 
present day. ' Though a worthy object for the adoration of all poets and thinkers, 
j it is an impiety to use him as a means for shackling art. A new epoch arises with 
j great events of its own, and to represent these a new great poet is required.' 

A placard to the following effect has been prepared for the poster: — 'Some sup- 
pose there are no penal statutes against free expression; others know there are, and 
think it proper that it should be so. Such persons, and all who care for more accu- 
rate information on the subject, may find it in the " History of the Last Trial by Jury 
for Atheism in England," a work which comprises an historic vindication of the 
proceedings of the atheistical party during the past eight years, with an account of 
what they have done and why they have done it. To be had of most Booksellers 
and News-agents, if ordered.' 

Can some reader oblige us with Archdeacon Hare's sermon on ' Self-Sacrifice,' 
or tell us who is the publisher ? 

Any reader having a copy of Godfrey Higgin's ' Anacalypsis ' to dispose of may 
write to the office, as a correspondent is asking for one. 

We have received from Mr. E. L. Pearson, of Islington, Is. for the Committee 
issuing Mr. Owen's Tracts, also lOs. from Mr. Atkins, Civil Engineer, of Oxford, 
which have been handed to the secretary. 

The first number of the Inquirer and Imtructive Repository, a Monthly Magazine, 
was issued on July 1st. The contents are varied and interesting. An article entitled 
' The Clergy and American Slavery,' contains a list of clergymen who, ' if by one 
prayer they could liberate every slave in the world, they would not dare to offer it.' 
Richard Oastler, the factory children's king, has published in No. 9 of his Home 
an interesting reply to the ' Logic of Death,' by Britannicus, who saw it in a book- 
seller's shop in Northampton. Britannicus promises a second article on the 

The Reasoner exchanges with the Popular Tribune, M. Cabet's paper, published 

i at Nauvoo, Illinois. French ability in journalism will be a serviceable example 

to the American press. The Leader frequently quotes from the Popular Tribune, 

and we shall be able often to present some extracts of interest to our Communist 


In Sunderland the Rev. Ebenezer Syme, and in Newcastle-on-Tyne Mr. Joseph 
Cowen, jun., have issued able addresses on behalf of the Polish and Hungarian 

Mr. J. y. Aitchison, late Pastor of the Evangelical Union Church, New Street, 
Paisley, lately delivered a discourse on Christian Baptism, in which he proposed 
to ' show the Scripture Evidences which led to his change of mind upon that sub- 
ject.' Where was Mr. Aitchison's Free Will when he suffered his opinions to be 
changed by evidence ? 

London: Printed by Holyoake Brothers, 3, Queen's Head Passage, Patemoster-row ; and Published 
by J. Watson, 3, Queen's Head Passage, Paternoster-row. — Wednesday, July l6th, 1851. 



They who believe that they have Truth ask no favour, save that of being heard: they dare the 
judgment of Mankind : refused Co-operation, they invoke Opposition, for Opposition ia their 
Opportunity, — Editor. 



Mr. H. boldly and decidedly avows himself an atheist. He has no faith in the 
generally-received doctrine of the Divine existence. He sees nothing in the 
structure of the universe — in the constitution of man — in the Scriptures of truth 
—in history, testimony, experience, to convince him of the being of a God, 
and he altogether rejects the doctrine — declares it to be an unestablished dogma, 
and proclaims to the world that it is a delusion and a fiction. Yet when plied 
with the difficulties that beset the position he has assumed, he is compelled to 
admit that there may be a God, and that he cannot say absolutely there is no such 
Being. He. thus abandons his atheism ; at all events allows it to be resolved into 
ignorance, or obtuseness of perception. Mr. H., therefore, after this admission 
made at the close of the last of the lectures now under consideration, can no longer 
say, there is no God, or to use his own exact words, ' that the God whom we seek 
is the Nature which we know,' — but this only, * I know not that there is a God.' 
But what this amounts to, of what this is an acknowledgment, all will at once 

The proofs of the existence of God, adducible, are too many even for enumeration. 
Reference to two or three only will now be made. There is then, as the first of 
these, the religious instinct, or capacity, or tendency, of man — a proof for the Divine 
existence on which too high a value cannot be set, but to which comparatively 
little importance or prominency has hitherto been given. Man is emphatically a 
religious creature. The forms of worship ; the religious ritfes and ceremonies that 
everywhere prevail, prove to demonstration that he is so. And in what light is 
this religious feeling which is in men, and in them alone, which is always active, 
and everywhere manifested, and which is their peculiar distinction, to be regarded ? 
Clearly in that of an argument in support of the doctrine of the Divine existence. 
As has been well said, ' It swells upwards, and amounts to a proof of the existence 
of God.' 

' It is a simple fact, then, beyond all question, that humanity possesses this dis- 
tinguishing attribute. All things beneath and around him seem to be made 
for man ; but he is the subject of a strong, active, predominating impulse, that 
appears like a consciousness, on his own part, that he is made for something else. 
This impulse finds utterance and embodiment in religious ideas, and religious 
service. Now, it would be a strange anomaly in a world like this, in which every 
faculty of every creature finds its corresponding and appropriate object— in which 
wing and hoof, scent and speed, eye and ear, hand and horn, powers and passions, 
appetites and attributes of all sorts, are fitted exactly to something that seems to 
be made for tliem, or for which thet/ are made — it would be a strange thing that the 

[No. 269.1 INo. 10, Vol.XI,] 



only exception to this law should be the Lord and Master of the world himself ! — 
and that it should occur, too, just in that one facfllty that at once distinguishes and 
dignifies Him more than any other ! The existence and actings of the religious 
instinct in man thus constitute a proof of the existence of God, just as the admitted 
existence of God involves the obligation to religion in man. The tendency in 
humanity ' to feel after God if haply it may find him — and to have something it 
may call God — whether it succeed in finding Him or not — is demonstrative of a 
Divine objective reality answerable to itself, in the same way as the half-formed 
wings of a bird in the shell are proof of the existence of an external atmosphere, 
and of the ultimate destiny of the bird itself.' 

A second argument for the existence of God is testimony. It is a common thing 
for the atheist to argue thus : If God is, let him show himself, and we will believe in 
his existence. If He be possessed of the power generally attributed to him. He can so 
manifest himself as to disperse every shadow of doubt from our mind, and correct 
our error, and secure for himself the homage and obedience of our hearts : let him 
do this, and the question is settled for ever. Why is it that He does not do this, 
and at once remove all our perplexities, and put an end to the long and profitless 
discussion between believer and sceptic ? It might be enough, as a reply to all this, 
to cite the words of Scripture, ' To him that hath shall be given ;' ' If any man 
will do his will, he shall know the doctrine,' ' If they believe not Moses and the 
Prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one should rise from the dead.' 
But the thing that is asked for has already been given. God Juts manifested 
himself. The earth has been lightened with his glory. The mountains have shook 
at his presence. A nation of men have trembled at his voice. Noah, Abraham, 
Jacob, Moses, Elijah, Isaiah, and John, saw him and lived. We have their testi- 
mony that they did so — their calm, enlightened, immutable testimony. What 
more is required ? Is other testimony admitted ? Why not their's ? 

Chrisiians know by their own experience that there is a God. This is an argu- 
ment which is of incalculable value to multitudes. It has been put thus : — 'Sup- 
pose a native of the torrid zone were to say to a sceptic, " You say you have felt 
iCe — -1 have not felt it ;" would he consider this a sufficient offset to his own expe- 
rience on the subject? Would he not think that his testimony was a reason why 
the other should believe in ice, although he knew nothing about it ? Would he 
consider the non-experience of the other an equipoise for his own experience? 
Most certainly not. Yet the sceptic adopts this very rule with regard to the 
Christian. He sets his non-experience against the Christian's experience. But 
what then ? If his state of mind proves that he does not know God, that of believers 
proves that they do know him. And if they do know him, then he exists ; nor 
does his non-experience prove that he does not exist, but only that be has not experi- 
enced that he exists — as good a, reason for his declining to believe in the Divine 
existence on the trstimony of others as would be that of the inhabitant of the torrid 
zone for declining to believe in ice on his testimony, merely because he himself had 
never experienced the existence of any.' Mr. H. may tell me in answer to this 
that he has no experience whatever of the doctrine of the being of God, and on 
this ground, as well as on others, rejects it, I will receive his statement as true. 
But then, in my turn, I solemnly assure him that / know there is a God. Will he 
believe me?' 

The nrguments for the Divine existence supplied by the common consent of 
mankind — the moral nature of man, tlio government of the world, and special 
proviiieuces — I pass over, and advert for a moment or two to that which is drawn 


from the (f^si^w which is everywhere apparent in the Universe. That marks of design 
are everywhere discoverable every candid individual will admit. But these marks 
of design in creation are as much an evidence of a designer who is above and in- 
dependent of the universe, as are the marks of design supplied by the machinery 
of a factory, the mechanism of a watch, the apartments of a house, the various beds 
of a nursery garden, or the arrangement of the letters and words of a newspaper. 
Design cannot be admitted as evidence of a designer in one case and not in the 
other. If the design of a portrait evidences a designing mind ; the higher, and 
clearer, and more important design of man, the reality is equally an evidence of 
an intelligent Maker. Mr. H. then is bound either to acknowledge God, or an in- 
telligent First Cause of all things, or to show positively that these manifestations of 
design do not prove his existence. ' He is bound to show that all possible ap- 
pearances of design do noiprove a design, and of course a designer j and, therefore, 
that all possible appearances of design can be produced by a cause void of design ; 
and, consequently, that the works of men, manifest as much appearance of the 
same as they may, do not prove them to be possessed of it.' These difficulties 
must be obviated, or the Divine existence admitted. 

But then, Mr. H, replies, if appearance of design is evidence of a designer in one 
case, it is evidence thereof in another, and therefore proves that God had a designer 
or Maker. But how so ? ' What appearance of contrivance or design is there in 
God ? Is it said, in his mind ? How in his mind ? Why there is harmony, order, 
intelligence there. True, but it is not these qualities themselves but their manifesta- 
tionszs displayed in the works of nature which are made the proof of a designer. The 
argument is this : that, as mere matter is void of intelligence, it could exhibit no 
indications thereof, excepting so far as made to exhibit them by an intelligent 
being ; and that as the Universe is mere matter, and does exhibit those indications, 
it must have had an intelligent author. The absurdity of the objection consists in 
making the mind of a being the manifestation of mind, and so an evidence of another 

I have the most thorough confidence in the truth of the Bible. I believe that 
its claims to a divine origin rest on a foundation that has never been shaken, and 
that never can be disturbed. I see in the fact of its existence — the harmony of 
its parts — the sublimity of its doctrines — the purity of its morality — the accordance 
of its statements with human consciousness — the fulfilment of its prophecies — the 
greatness of its miracles— the early triumphs of Christianity, and in the effect 
which it produces in the experience and lives of those who heartily believe it, the 
most convincing and satisfactory proofs of its truth and divinity. I see all who 
come to the study of the Scriptures with a thoughtful, devout, and teachable mind, 
rise up from their perusal fully persuaded of their truthfulness, and ready to part 
with any thing and every thing rather than this persuasion, and I am the more 
and more confirmed in my belief with regard to them. But the establishment of 
the claims of the Bible is the establishment of the doctrine of the Divine existence. 
The one is the consequent and necessary eflfect of the other. Bat the Bible ts true, 
and therefore God is. 

This paper is solely occupied with the argument for the being of God, because 
Mr. H. is an atheist. But for this strange and painful fact, no such an 
amount of space would have been taken up with what to many will doubtless ap- 
pear a superfluous task. What remains to be answered will come within a small 
compass, and form only another paper. James Fleming. 


[We regret that we have opened our columns to this controversy, but, having 
permitted Mr. Fleming's strictures on the lectures of Mr. Holyoake, we cannot, in 
fairness, refuse insertion to the vindication of the latter. Mr. H. will, of course, 
confine himself strictly to the arguments of Mr. Fleming, be as concise as possible, 
and, we are sure, will say nothing offensive to the feelings of those who so widely 
differ from his opinions. — Note to the first Letter, by the editor of the L. GJ] 


To the Editor of the Lancaster Guardian. 

Sib, — As it seems to afford Mr. Fleming some controversial satisfaction, I ob- 
ject not to it — otherwise, when he represents that when I was 'plied with diflficul- 
ties I was compelled to admit that there may be a God,' I should tell him that 
what he paints as my compulsion is my custom. What he describes as being 
extorted from me at the 'close ' of my last lecture was the opening explanation of 
my first, and was put on record by me many years ago. Mr. Fleming must know 
well that the whole question of the Divine existence is one of probability, and 
that he, no more than myself, is justified in using positive language. If hastiness 
of affirmation was not the controversial sin of the Christian, Mr. Fleming too 
would observe the rule which I follow, and concede in his turn that there may not 
be a God. 

There is some propriety in the Unitarian affirming that there is a ' religious 
instinct' in man. In the Unitarian with whomreligion is a sentiment and creed a 
service, piety at least approaches to the simplicity and purity of an instinct j but 
with the lower typfes of the Christian faith there can be no pretension to it. The 
thirty-nine articles are surely not instinctive in man, nor the iron dogmas of 
Calvin, nor the liquid doctrine of the Baptists, nor any creed which a Wesleyan 
may draw up. Why, even arithmetic is not instinctive in the human race, or so 
many could not be found to take three to be one ! 

What I advance in these communications is rather in deference to Mr. Fleming 
than to the quality of his review of my lectures. That review might have been 
written to conceal the tenor of my subjects, it seems to me so foreign to what 
I dwelt upon. Had my name been omitted throughout Mr. Fleming's three papers, 
I should not have identified them as relating to me at all. It is not for me to take 
the initiative, and recount what I actually urged. That might subject my reply to 
non-insertion. It remains for me to follow what my adversary has seen fit to put 
forward. Otherwise, as respects this very question of the religious instinct, 
I should observe that I did not introduce it. In a certain and fuller sense than 
Mr. Fleming has put it, I should concele it to him. Mr. Fleming frames his 
reply to me as though I was some indiscriminate assailant of everybody and every- 
thing, without the power to see or the candour to own that there are many things of 
reason and weight on the side opposed to me, demanding respectful consideration. 
But Mr. Fleming, in setting up defences of matters I never disputed, effectually 
keeps out of discussion the points I came to Lancaster to enforce. For instance, 
his argument on ' testimony ' has no relation to me. Atheists, I think, do not 
utter the offensive and presumptuous speech put into their mouths by Mr. Fleming, 
and say, ' Let God show himself, and we will believe.' We only observe that 
the manifestation of God would dispel all doubt, and command the intelligent 
homage of every creature. As Deity takes not this course, it may be concluded 
that, human happiness being provided for, he has a lofty pleasure in its progress, 
and that he is too great to need and too cultivated to require that perpetual recog- 
nition only exacted by the lowest order of donors. 


Mr. Fleming reminds me that Noah and Moses and John saw God, and asks 
why should I not receive their testimony ? My answer is, that Mahomet and 
Joseph Smith give me the same assurance, and if I believed them all I should 
believe too much. In the same manner, when Mr. Fleming tells me that he knows 
there is a God, and asks will I believe him, I remind him that the Pagan, the 
Buddhist, the Thug, and Mormon say the same thing. There never was a super- 
stition whose priests would not advance this presumptuous testimony. Am I to 
believe them all ? Honest Catholics will tell me, as recklessly as Mr. Fleming, 
that they know that the Virgin Mary answers prayers. Will Mr. Fleming believe 
these persons ? Certainly not. He must answer, as I do to him, ' I doubt not the 
sincerity of your declarations, but I am not satisfied of the accuracy of your im- 
pressions. The existence of God is not a matter of politeness. It is more a ques- 
tion of evidence than of courtesy.' 

It is related of that Nestor of modern preachers, the Rev. "W. Jay, of Bath, that 
when the divinity of Edward Irving was at its zenith, a disciple of the new church 
set out on a mission to Mr. Jay, with a view to induce that gentleman to join their 
body and be saved. The venerable minister demanded who he was, and what was 
his business ? He answered, without hesitation, that he was an angel. He was 
confident of it; he had no misgivings about it; like the Rev. Mr. Fleming in the 
present case, he Jcnetv he was an angel. The Rev. Mr. Jay quietly requested him 
to take off his coat, which when the angel had done it, Mr. Jay proceeded to 
examine his shoulder blades rather roughly. ' Pray what are you doing, sir V 
inquired the celestial visitant indignantly. ' Feeling for yo|^r •wings,' was Mr. 
Jay's reply. The angel departed very wroth. Mr. Jay had a right to expect to 
find some particular conformation after so unusual a profession ; and when Mr. 
Fleming claims the eminent distinction, which philosophers and divines have long 
craved in vain, of knowing that God exists, we have a right to expect some very 
original contribution to theological literature from his pen. One so gifted must 
have it in his power to furnish peculiar information ; and I can only regret that in 
his present papers he has not justified the high expectation he has raised. 

The argument of design, now considered as exploded in all advanced schools of 
theology, Mr. Fleming reproduces in every paper, as though he had nothing else 
to write about. An able critic in the Topic lately applauded Humboldt for ex- 
cluding from his 'Kosmos' this hacknied dogma. 'Assuredly,' the commentator 
observes, * the evidences of design in the creation require a previous idea in the 
mind of him that perceives them Were not man a designer, they would never 
be perceived : and man, therefore, uses nature as a mirror, wherein are reflected 
the properties of Ids own being, which he mistakes for her own independent laws.' 
Mr. Fleming, who cannot comprehend Nature, yet assumes to know all about it, 
proceeds on the extravagant assumption that he knows it to be void of all self- 
action ; that he has ascertained all the properties of matter ; and that it has no 
inherent power to do what it does do. 

Will the public suppose that I did not argue the question of atheism in my lec- 
tures ; that I confined myself to showing that all opinion, even atheistical opinion, 
if conscientiously held, is morally innocent — as morally innocent as theistical 
belief ; and that, as there was no crime in the creed of the understanding, that the 
atheist and the Christian must stand equally innocent in the eye of God — and that, 
therefore, the idea of eternal punishment for belief could have no truth in itself^ 
no place in philosophy, nor admitted of defence in discussion ? Mr. Fleming 
refused to debate this in my presence ; yet, if he believes it, the people of Lancaster 
ought to know it, and if he denies it he ought to have given his reasons for it in 
his professed review of my lectures. For 1 did not conceal from him, that if I es- 
tablished this position in Lancaster I should be satisfied, though I established 
nothing else ; and he who leaves this point out of a i-eview of my lectures, leaves 
the character of Hamlet out of the play. George Jacob Holyoake. 


ClFjramtuattou at V^t ^reSs. 

A Visitation. — On the Sunday within the octave of Corpus Christi, which is al- 
ways observed with great solemnity in the Roman church, a grand solemn high 
mass was celebrated at St. Augustine's, Granby-row, Manciester, which was 
splendidly decorated with flowers and caudles on the occasion, and the church 
was thronged. Whilst Mr. Bardsley, the organist, was playing and the full choir 
sinuing the ' Dona nobis pacem,' Mr. Bardsley fell back from his seat at the organ, 
and was conveyed from the choir to the presbetery, where he died on Monday 
morning at half-past five, having never spoken after his attack. The consternation 
at this event was great; and the coincidence of the chorus, ' Dona nobis pacem,' 
with the death-stroke of the organist whilst playing it, was exceedingly aflfecting. 
Miss Bardsley, the daughter of the deceased, was in the choir singing at the time. 
— Leeds Intelligencer. [When Mr. Robert Cooper was taken ill while lecturing ia 
Sunderland, the saints said it was a ' visitation.' Was this a visitation ?] 

Faith and Duty. — Every pursuit which conduces to the welfare of the world, 
has its appropriate honour attending it ; and a genuine virtue is developed by en- 
thusiasm for what is highest in our own line of action. You may treat life as a pro- 
blem, which has to be wrought out to a successful result, with certain moral conditions 
attached to it. Do not, because it looks difficult, timorously shrink from attempt- 
ing the solution ; but work through every part of it, whether you get the whole 
result or not, without violating one of its moral conditions. Such is the course of 
action which contributes to relative perfection, by linking our individual lives 
through specific d#ties with the general well-being of the world. — Rev. J. J. 
Taylor^ s ' Christian Aspects of Faith and Duty.'' 

Signs of PaoaaEss in China. — The following statement has appeared in the 
Annates de la Propagation de la Foi :—' The young Emperor of China, who suc- 
ceeded his father at his death in February, 1850, having, at his accession, rejected 
the demands addressed to him by the mandarins for permission to persecute the 
Christians within his dominions, published a decree in the month of June in the 
same year, permitting the free exercise of the Christian religion in his dominions. 
The Emperor at the same time invited four missionaries to wait upon him, who 
are to be lodged in his palace. Monsignor Perronneau, Bishop of China, has in- 
formed us in a letter, dated the 5th of September, 1850, that the Emperor was 
educated by a Christian lady in whom the late Emperor placed unbounded con- 
fidence. A similar education had been formerly given to some of the Roman 
I Emperors during the three centuries of persecution, and the Christians had thereby 
, obtained an occasional respite, so valuable for the propagation of the faith amongst 
: those souls, naturally timid, who in all times have been the most numerous.' 
j Primitive Methodist Conference. — The assembly commenced its annual 
' sittings in the connexional chapel at Yarmouth, on the 4th inst. The spiritual, 
I financial, and numerical state of the connexion was found to be very encouraging, 
j and the societies generally are at peace among themselves. The net increase of 
I members for the year is 4019. Forty-four young men were received on trial as 
i travelling preachers, and twenty-five who had completed their travelling probation 
were admitted into full connexion. Several preachers and other officials availed 
i themselves of the privilege aflforded by the liberal measures of the last Conference 
for the admission of hearers. The following are the statistics : — The number of 
stations, 303 ; numbers, 108,781 ; travelling preachers, 551 ; local preachers, 9077 ; 
class leaders, 6490; connexional chapels, 1C62; rented chapels, &c., 3593; 
Sabbath schools, 1403; scholai-s, 112,098; teachers, 21,342; and deaths during 
the year, 1402. — Lincoln paper. 



C^c ^gjpccW mts eriftiiitntS ai (S^riStianita. 

BY W. J. B. 

The Rev. Mr. Scott lately wanted to 
know what we have to say against the 
morality of Jesus. Another young man 
is coming forward to defend the sermon 
on the mount against attacks made upon 
it in the Victoria Park. It may be said 
of the morality of Jesus, that ' what is 
true is not new, what is new is not true.' 
It seems to me that Jesus took his mo- 
rality chiefly from the Old Testament, 
somewhat disfigured and misquoted. It 
is difficult to know what Jesus meant by 
poor in spirit, or what he meant by the 
kingdom of Tieaven. If he were an ex- 
ample, at times he showed himself proud 
and offensive, and at other times little. 
He was violent till his fall, and then he 
was dumfoundered, and could not say a 
word in his own justification; and so tar 
from thinking that he himself had gained 
the kingdom of heaven, he said God had 
forsaken him. To be poor in spirit, 
therefore, if he is an example, is a bad 
precept, and holds out a fallacious re- 
ward. We think it equally wrong to 
mourn for the purpose of being com- 
forted ; nor do we think the inducement 
to mourn ever fulfilled. We would 
rather the world had no cause to mourn. 
We know of no mourning except for 
sins, and then people had much better 
mourn and not be comforted till they 
had given them up. Again : we know 
the meek do not inheric the earth, and 
therefore it is a false precept anu delu- 
sive recommendation. Certainly, if 
Jesus was poor in spirit at times, he 
was never meek. To hunger and thirst 
after righteousness is vague language — 
as vague as your stomach would be if 
you expected to be filled by it ; and 
Jesus's method of instituting a supper — 
of bread and wiue — was not a teetotal 
method of illustrating the doctrine. To 
be merciful, and expect it in return is 
nothing wonderful; we should say to be 
merciful sufficiently repays itself, the 
giver and receiver. We do not see any 
mercy practised by Christ in the theory 
of Christianity. We rather think it bad 
morality that promises a blessing when 
people persecute you. Christ recom- 

mends a mutilation of the person utterly 
incompatible with morality. He also 
confuses the laws of Moses with his pe- 
culiar notions of conversation. We do 
not see what our conversation has to do 
with a commandment against forswear- 
ing and perjury. In conversation, Jesus 
offended against his own rule, as his 
conversation — instead of being yea, yea, 
and nay, nay — was generally prefaced by 
verily, verily, ye wolves and hypocrites, 
wolves and whitened sepulchres. 

The laws of Moses needed superseding, 
but the contrary precepts of Jesus would 
be utterly subversive of all justice. Not 
to resent crimes would be as immoral as 
to give to every one that asked whether 
they were good or bad. Besides which 
was the example of Jesus. He was not 
more patient in deed than he was in 
word : he beat the sellers of the temple 
and destroyed their property ; he told 
his followers, on one occasion, to buy 
swords, and Peter cut off the ear of the 
officer sent to apprehend Jesus. Not to 
resist evil, we say, is very immoral ; we 
should, on every occasion, show our love 
of good by opposition to what is bad. 
Jesus, by his speech and example, was 
travestying law and morality. Jesus 
says, ' Ye have heard that it hath been 
said. Thou shalt love thy neighbour and 
hate their enemy.' The contrary is 
really the truth : you are to do good to 
your enemies, as is said in many places 
of the Old Testament. 

Jesus did not supply very high mo- 
tives to good conduct : they were either 
rewards in heaven or punishments in 
hell. We know people are charitable 
from the love of it, and think no more 
about it. 

The Lord's prayer is said to be a 
Rabbinical composition. Jesus instructs 
us to ask to be delivered from evil, when 
just before he told us not to resist it. 
Here we learn then that it was said by 
the Jews forgive your enemies, and that 
they represeuted God as forgiving us on 
this account. We ask if Jesus so repre- 
sents himself, or so represents God. On 
the contrary, we have a vindictive God, 



and a vindictive 8on, and we are to seek 
forgivenessof sinsnot in forgivingothers, 
but in their sacrifice. If one be morality, 
is not the other immorality ? We do 
not see any good in fasting, except for 
the health. All the wise fast more or 
less, put a restraint upon their appetites, 
and are rewarded by better health. 

We think the treasure in heaven 
worse than the treasure upon earth ; we 
think it an immorality to turn people's 
attention from the earth to indefinable 
treasures above. Of course it is a very 
good measure for the priest, who is as- 
sumed to keep the treasury of heaven. 
From Christ downwards to the present 
time, priests have turned such precepts 
to their own advantage, and taught that 
in giving to them you were laying up a 
treasure in heaven. You are to give to 
every one that asks, and not turn away 
from him who borrows. You are not to 
be particular in your selection ; you are 
not to give only to the honest and good 
and industrious, but to the bad, idle, and 
all. We are not told what righteousness 
consists in, but we are frequently told 
that perfection consists in distributing 
wealth. A bag seems to have been kept 
for the purpose. To tell people to take 
no care of themselves, that they shall 
be provided for, is not true, and a maxim, 
if followed, which would lead to the 
greatest misery. It is a precept that 
only does for priests and impostors. 
Here we have another precaution of 
priestcraft : we are not to exercise our 
judgment as to who is a rogue or who is 
honest. Christ threatens his hearers if 
they judge him, as they had reason to 
judge after his speech to give all they 
had away and not take any care of them- 
selves. We do not see any morality, we 
see a sinister design, in all these senti- 
ments — we see the foundation of a 
grossly-immoral system. 

In considering the morality of Jesns 
it is necessary to know what is morality. 
What is moral on earth is not, according 
to the defenders of divinity, morality in 
a God. With him all the attributes of 
excellence are changed. Allowing there 
was anything Providential in the mis- 
sion of Jesus, we cannot see the fulfil- 
ment ot any of the assignable attributes 
of divinity in the death of Jesus. Jus- 
tice of heaven was injustice so to entrap 
mankind into their own destruction; 

and Jesus, when he said ' Father forgive 
them, for they know not what they do,' 
confessed his own error in letting them 
remain in their ignorance. Judging 
these matters in a merely human way, 
Jesus should have asked forgiveness of 
himself, or of his father, or of the 
people, for having been the instrument 
of their perdition — having brought des- 
truction on Jerusalem, aud the punish- 
ment of everlasting fire hereafter for 
mistaking him for a man. * Father 
forgive them, for they know not what 
they do,' has often been cited as the ex- 
ample of the forgiveness of injuries ; but 
we say the Jews were the injured party 
in the afiair. 

Jesus spoke of the great things he 
would have done for Jerusalem had they 
believed in him. It was clear what was 
his course, viz., to make them believe, 
and take them under his wings. But 
though Jesus likens what he would do to 
a hen towards her chickens, it is clear 
he had not altogether the feelings of a 
hen. He was not content with preach- 
ing eternal torments hereafter for those 
who did not believe in him. In other 
respects his conduct, weighed humanly, 
is inexplicable. If he got a civil word 
from the Pharisees and Scribes, he 
answered them with low epithets ; and 
when he partook of the supper of a 
Pharisee, he violated the common rites 
of hospitality by abusing his guest and 
his order. lu spite of his injunction 
to the contrary in the sermon on the 
mount, Jesus seems to have been an 
abusive person. He had never the 
power of retaliation, except in words ; 
but we may tell from what he said what 
he would have done, and what he 
threatens to do when he comes to judg- 
ment. Eighteen hundred years ago he 
was judged, condemned, and put to death, 
and luckily for the world his promised 
return, which was expected so soon, has 
not taken place. It is doubtless painful 
to many that this should be said, bub 
the case warrants it. Was there any 
consistency in this sermon on the mount? 
Did he love justice, mercy, and truth ? If 
so, he would not keep away 18 hundred 
years leaving us wandering in error, 
and continually treading the broad road 
that leads to destruction and the * ever- 
lasting bonfire,' as Shakspere names it. 
The meek in spirit promised himself and 



his followers a very worldly triumph — 
the being fishers of men, and finally their 
judges, sitting on the twelve thrones of 

If Popery be the type of Christianity, 
Jesuitry is its peculiar characteristic. 
The inconsistency of Jesus in morals 
and theory is all hewn into shape by 
the Society of Jesus. Their code of 
morals is an exact deduction from the 
contradictions avowed by Jesus in the 
sermon on the mount and elsewhere. 
They tell you to suffer, and use the arm 
of power themselves — to be patient of 
injuries, and they persecute. In the 
precepts and practice of Jesus there is 
no vagary that cannot find it?s justifica- 
tion. The authority of antiquity, the 
traditions of the saints, the writings of 
the fathers, and the practice of the 
churches have so interpreted the Scrip- 
tures. Can it be said that Jesus does 
not teach what has been invariably the 
reading of the four gospels for eighteen 
hundred years ? For the revelation of 
the four gospels has been unfolded to us 
for the last eighteen hundred years, and 
we should be blind if we did not see it. 
It is too late now, in the nineteenth cen- 
tury, to say it means another thing. 
There may have been martyrs to a pro- 
fession of belief of some sort in Chris- 
tianity ; but how many martyrs to unbe- 
lief of all kinds in its doctrines have 
been seen ? considerably moffe we should 
say. Have not the alternate persecu- 
tions of each other by all Christians 
derived their authority from the words 
of Jesus ? If a tree does not bear good 
fruit, cut it down and cast it into the 
fire ; better lose one member, or life in 
this world, than to have eternity in hell 
fire. After all the denunciations and 
abuse of those who did not think like 
himself or follow him, such irritation of 
the mind is easily resolvable into acts, 
when the time comes that the weight of 
power is put into the hands of disciples 
to be exercised over dissentients. It is 
the great hope of every party one day 
to be triumphant, and the apostles were 
promised that they should be judges 
over the earth. They might endure 
persecution on the way to triumphant 
power, but come it would when they 
might least expect it. It was good for 
fishermen, carpenters, and such like, to 
be fishers of men. What are all the 

chevaliers d'industr{e,a,nd swell mobs, but 
fishers of men ? What are priests, and 
many others in professions and com- 
merce, but fishers of men, regularly 
brought up to it ? If any one was now 
to arise, and preach to men wearied in 
the work of over competition, and to 
women who eked out a needlework live- 
lihood, and talk after the style of Christ, 
men would denounce him. Suppose he 
was to go to publicans and sinners, or to 
frequent public-houses, telling the rich, 
hated for the way in which they had got 
their wealth, that he cauie to forgive 
their sins — that those who had money 
had only to give it to him as their terms 
of acceptance into the kingdom of hea- 
ven, and those who had it not had no 
need any longer to take care of themsel- 
ves, that heaven would provide food and 
clothing — does not everybody with the 
least knowledge of mankind know, that 
such a doctrine would attract a quantity of 
followers ? A few rich there are always 
found to patronise any revolution — who, 
convicts in society themselves, hope to 
reach elevation by giving assistance to 
those who hold out such prospects to 
ambition, such relief to iheir vexations, 
as Jesus held out to them. Of the igno- 
rant there would always be plenty; such 
examples of stupidity and ambition, sim- 
plicity and cunning as the character of 
Peter reveals. The elevation to them 
in this world was enough to turn their 
heads, and Peter evinced that he had 
not the strongest on his shoulders. 
Such Sancho Panzas will be always 
found to follow Don Quixotes on any 
knight-errantry. The prominency given 
to Peter affords a sample of the workings 
of a more astute on a more simple nature. 
That Peter must have been dazzled by 
the part he played, and that was assigned 
to him in the future, is clearly evident. 

Peter and his colleagues were to have 
their thrones. Jesus would stimulate 
faith by suspecting it, and holding 
out rewards to them and to those who 
endure to the end. It was to be in this 
world, and in the other — or, if not in one, 
it was sure to be in the other — that the 
kingdom of neaven was to meet with ful- 
filment. Peter was told that he was 
next to his master, that he could for- 
give sins, that he was to judge mankind, 
that he was to feed his sheep, that he 
was to have the keys of heaven and hell. 

Then in a moment of elation, if he 
boasted to the rest and brought upon 
himself their denial of his separate 
claims, he got rebuked by his master. 
When he thought the time whs come 
that Jesus should show himself who he 
really was, and master of the powers he 
had even delegated to him, Jesus used 
no very complimentary language to him, 
and told him he was Satan, and to get 
behind him. No doubt Peter thought 
the entry into Jerusalem the consum- 
mation of his own and master's great- 
ness, and at a hint at a sword it appears 
he was the only one who bought one and 
used it. All the rest fled, but Peter no 
doubt thought he was legion, and single- 
handed was able to put to flight the 
armed force of Jerusalem and Rome. 
We must conjecture it was an entire 
failure, and that he was further duped 
into believing that he had cut oflf an ear 
which his master put on again — so 
the story runs, for it he had used his 
sword we cannotconceive why he should 
have been allowed quietly to follow, and 
not been made to answer for it. 

From such a class as Peter's no doubt 
Jesus might largely recruit. We see 
Jesus gave the keeping of the money 
they levied to Judas. The Eleven must 
have thought this care of riches rather 
inconsistent with the profession of 
poverty and having no care for the 
things of this world. But diamond cut 
diamond : when Judas saw the bubble 
was about to burst he departed with the 
capital, though there was enough lett in 
the inexhaustible mine of human credu- 
lity always to furnish the bag, and be 
the prize to every future Judas in the 

Of the class of easy converts among the 
females might be reckoned Magdalene. 
Her new vocation was certainly a much 
easier method of gaining a livelihood 
than common prostitution. There is no 
assertion that she became immaculate : 
it is evident she loved the Lord, and the 
Lord loved her. It was certainly a place 
well fitted for a woman's ambition to be 
the chosen of the Lord. It would not do 
for a leader of the people to make these 
selections in these days. Christ set her 
above an honest woman, her sister Mary 
had some care for things, instead of no 
care, as the Magdalene, and therefore, 
according to the sermon on the mount, 

the morality of the Magdalene was pre" 
ferred. In the same spirit the Magda- 
lene threw away a box of precious oint- 
ment, and delicacy too, on the feet of 
her master. The disciples thought it 
better had been divided among the 
followers — but again Jesus defended the 
Magdalene on the principle laid down 
in the sermon on the mount. Ways 
and means must have been good with her 
when she could afibrd a box of ointment. 

Another class from which Jesus 
largely recruited, male and female, were 
the maniacs, a description of persons 
not a very suitable accompaniment, if 
Jesus himself were in his senses. No 
doubt many did flock around him, when 
he could give to so many thousands a 
miraculous picnic. We would ensure 
the success of any religion on this prin- 
ciple of belief, we would engage to make 
converts of all the world, and withdraw 
them from all other superstitions. 
Whether for good or for evil, we would 
not presume to say, yet we would not 
reproach them (as the Jews did their 
master), with being winebibbers and 

The first miracle he performed, that of 
turning water into wine, would be sure 
to collect all the thirsty as followers (as 
the loaves and fishes would the hungry), 
who probably had nothing but the 
Jordan for the quenching of their thirst. 
However admirable might be the tran- 
substantiation of Adam's ale, given by 
the father, into wine, given by the son — 
a conquestover nature worthy of £acchus 
the son of Jupiter — we do not think it 
added to the moral character of Jesus. 
Turning water into wine was his first 
miracle, and at the famous supper turn- 
ing his blood into wine was his last. 

There is, in fact, no possibility of judg- 
ing, in the usual way, the extraordinary 
tacts which faith has sanctified in the 
life of Christ, without giving offence. 
Father Newman tells us, * God's logic is 
not our logic, his morality is not our 
morality;' then why not at once say he 
is not to be judged by our morality, and 
admit that he was immoral according to 
our notions 2 If Mr. Scott, and other 
Christians, are to challenge us to object 
to the ethics of Jesus, let them concede 
to us the same freedom that they exercise 
when they criticise Confucius, Mahomet, 
George Fox, or Joseph Smith. 



Our ^BlaUarm. 

From which any earnest opponent may controvert our opinions, and from which any may expound views 
not coincident with our own, if tending to the Rationalisation of Theology. 


Sir, — Under the head of ' Advice to those who go to Church against their will,' 
you gave some very useful suggestions in No. 267 of the Reasoner. With you, I 
think that something more may usefully be said upon so important a subject as 
the conduct of freethinkers whilst they are in the power or under the surveillance 
of the orthodox. I write because I feel strongly, because I think I see my way 
clearly. What I have to say is credited with three years' experience ; and allow 
me to premise that I am a young tradesman without capital, therefore not inde- 
pendent of the world in a pecuniary sense. 

My impression is, that now the ^eater portion of persecution is earned by harsh 
dogmatic language on the part of freethinkers. Much of the opprobrium in which 
we are held results from undignified timidity. Religionists think we ought to be 
ashamed of our opinions, because to them our opinions appear to be wicked and 
horrihle. By timidity and a want of candour in the expression of opinion, we con- 
firm religionists in their bad opinion of us and our principles. If we appear 
ashamed of that which we believe honourable and useful, and listen in deferential 
silence to that which we believe erroneous and injurious, we ought not to be sur- 
prised at, and it appears to me we deserve, the bad opinion of the religious world. 

There appears to me not to be half the danger in a fearless expression of opinion 
as is generally supposed, if such expression of opinion is clothed in temperate lan- 
guage. Humanity is stronger than bigotry, and can always be awakened by kind 
and considerate language joined to a conciliating manner. If we seek to conciliate 
instead of to anger, to persuade instead of to conquer — if, instead of attacking, we 
oflfer ourselves for conversion, as earnest seekers of any truth opponents may have 
to offer — bigotry will not be roused, prejudice awakened, nor rancour displayed. If 
we shew that we stand npon a common ground with them, namely, the desire for 
truth, and application of it for the benefit of the human family — thus showing our 
objects are the same, however we may differ as to the means of attaining them — 
there is little doubt on my mind that men would rationally discuss their dif- 
ferences. Men's conclusions are oftentimes the same, though drawn from different 
premises. Who differs with his family, with the world, should be careful to find 
out, and keep constantly in view, that in which he agrees with them — narrowing 
the gulf as much as possible that divides them, that it may easily be bridged over. 
Unimpeachable conduct and untiring suavity of demeanour are the best safeguards 
against oppression for opinion's sake, and are opinion's best advocates. It is easy 
and useful to show that we cannot help our opinions, they being the result of 
evidence coming under the observation of an understanding we did not make. If 
this is well urged, a Christian cannot fail to see he must bring evidence to substan- 
tiate his position before he can hope, or ought to hope, to change us. 

My personal experience substantiates the above. In my dogmatic period I suf- 
fered for my dogmatism, though apparently for my opinions. By intemperate 
expression I earned dislike and disrespect instead of esteem. I made foes instead 
of converts. Now, although I know well I cannot justly lay claim to half the 
qualities and discipline that a freethinker should have, affairs are greatly altered. 
Yet I never shrink discussion privately nor publicly, and if I wanted a character 
I should apply to Christians who know me to be an atheist active la the promul- 
gation of my opinions. 


A Christian acquaintance with whom I have often conversed upon the relative 
merits of Christianity and atheism, takes the trouble to teach me book-keeping 
gratuitously. A Roman Catholic, who hates Protestantism and believes I am 
inevitably doomed hereafter, tenders the use of his purse whenever I am in need 
of cash for business purposes. I have no claim on these persons, excepting that 
of an ordinary acquaintance. Those with whom I come in contact in trade treat 
me with respect and trust, at the least equal to what I can expect from my position 
apart from peculiarity of opinion. Remember, I discuss with every one as occa- 
sion offers, excepting with customers, and then I never conceal my opinions. 

In respect to the particular case of your correspondent, if obliged to go to 
church I advise him to take notes, and when at home to point out the inconsisten- 
cies of the sermon, if there are any, and show how much of the practices of all the 
ministers of the Gospel differs from many of the precepts of the gospel they preach. 
Let him balance the loss of dignity, of independence, of truth, the deterioration of 
character (inevitable consequences of his painfully-constrained position), with the 
advantages he might have to yield by following a nobler and freer course. It is 
for him to decide upon his own affairs : I have here given him the benefit of my 
experience, should I hear that it has been of any service I shall be much gratified. 

In conclusion allow me to say, sir, that you were the first who taught me that it 
is far more often manner than matter that creates anger and incurs persecution 
in private life. Exalt ada. 

[We never received a letter more encouraging than this. The writer omits his 
name only because he has spoken of himself, as it may seem, in self-laudatory 
terms. We knew him only in what he styles his ' dogmatic period,' and if it were 
not for the I'eference with which his letter concludes, we should say we never 
thought it possible that he would ever come to express views so sound and pui'sue 
a course of conduct so wise as he has now adopted. — Ed.] 


Sir, — I have been for some time engaged in a correspondence with a Christian 
on the subject of religion, and copy a portion of his last letter, and my reply to it, 
because I think that many who read your periodical, while they disbelieve that the 
Christian religion has any other than a purely human origin, may think, as my 
correspondent does, that atheism would be fatal to society. 

It appears to me that while so many workmen are laboriously engaged in trying 
to knock down the old Christian church, it would be well if some would help the 
downfall by devoting a little time to the duty of pointing out the perfect indepen- 
dence of morality on religion. We are constantly asked, ' How are people to be 
kept in order without religion?' &c. In short, it is a common idea among Chris- 
tians, that when revealed religion is abandoned as a superstition, that men's pas- 
sions will be let loose without restraint of any kind — that morality is identical 
with religion, and will go with it. 

My friend says — ' Granting, for the sake of argument, that what is called Re- 
vealed Religion is no such thing, but a purely human invention, I maintain that 
to destroy such illusion would be fatal to the best human interests of mankind ; 
that society could not exist; chaos would be the consequence. Morality and the 
very laws of the land are founded on Christianity. Let us take for consideration 
the effect of universal atheism on the present relations and obligations of the two 
sexes. I choose this subject as being the most clearly important and the most 


helplessly wrecked along with Christianity. What is to prevent ever^ young female 
yielding to the first temptation ? Sinful ? To whom ? There is no God ! Eat, 
drink, and be merry, for to-morrow you die. Obey the dictates of Nature. The 
same argument holds good with respect to married life. I abstain from enlarging 
on this theme. Your own reflections will be able to follow np the subject till you 
are horror struck to fin i that your atheism has led you on till you have lost the 
power of distinguishing good from evil.' 

I replied to this briefly — ' Morality and religion are constantly confounded in the 
minds of Christians, whereas they are perfectly independent of one another. Human 
motives are quite sufl&cient to prevent the sad state of female virtue you predict 
as the consequence of atheism. Morality is innate in the human mind; the more 
civilised the higher will be the standard of morality. Honour and chastity, /or their 
own sakes, are human motives, and will for ever be valued in proportion to the cul- 
tivatioii of the mind, which I call civilisation.' 

Sinfulness or immorality is, as Carlyle justly calls it, * stupidity,' which will be 
more effectually combatted by intellectual cultivation than by threats of fire and 
brimstone. N. 

[Upon this large and useful question, the ' Independence of Morality and Reli- 
gion,' we have never been able to dwell sufficiently. Of late, incidentally, more 
attention has been paid to it by us. We should be glad to hear further from ' N.' 
on this subject. — Ed.] 


Sir, — From your Platform I desire to say a few words to my fellow subscribers 
to the Reasoner. I never look upon the individual items of the Reasoner's list 
without regret, that so important a cause does not receive wider support from the 
general body of its subscribers. 

Religion is stationary — more, it is obstructive, it is antagonistic to the true 
happiness of mankind. It preys upon us from our births to our deaths, and 
pursues its Roman Catholic victims beyond the grave. It demands our time for 
mummeries that are mockeries to manhood, to an object which it insults rather 
than worships by its puerilities. If its promises were true, they would be worth- 
less. It tortures with imaginary fears, and renders life miserable by its slavish 
exactions. It demands the support of a useless class often arrogant in their 
acquired power. Its morality is questionable. It professes equality, but where ? 
In a heaven, or the grave ; not where alone it would be serviceable — on earth. It 
spreads much dissension, where its professors acquire power. It makes and 
supports class-made laws, and calls upon the power it supports to aid in persecu- 
tion. It demands implicit obedience, and thus robs us of liberty — denounces our 
rational amusements, and renders life miserable, dark, ascetic, and gloomy. 

We who seek in the practice of morality, general, and consequently individual 
happiness — whose desires do not presumptuously extend beyond this life — with 
whom belief, or disbelief, is a matter of evidence — stood, but a few years ago, as 
parias upon the earth — not to be believed — not to be trusted — not to be associ- 
ated with — fit only to be feared, persecuted, and destroyed. Now, through laborious 
advocacy, principle is conceded to it. Men difiering widely from its opinions, at 
least allow to us plain dealing — in some cases, fairness ; and we may consider that 
we have made some social advance. 

It must be that many readers of the Reasoner are not impressed with the import- 

{ aiSR of amtuort ing, witii the bwit of tiior mggna, a, work, the eommon gnHmd af 
I viiiek is B ilBH.f <jf diooahc and apeech. 

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The Christian Examiner — conducted by the most intellectual and pious D. D.'s, 
of the Channing school, and believers in supernatural Christianity — in a clever article 
against Feuerbach, says — ' It is folly to talk of demonstrating God's existence ; we 
cannot argue with a man to whom it is not a matter of inward consciousness, any 
more than we can discuss colours with a blind man, God's being is an object of 
faith, and not of demonstration, and all attempts at proof have been signal failures.' 
(Vol. xlix., p. 133. September 1850.) 

On Sunday next Mr. G. J. Holyoake will lecture in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, on 
' The Intellectual Truth and Moral Tendency of Atheism Vindicated against the 
recent Aspersions and Misrepresentations of it by Opponents in that town.' Mr. 
Holyoake expects to visit Padiham and Manchester before his return. 

The article by ' Ion,' entitled ' The Workman and the Exhibition,' which lately 
appeared in No. 65 of the Leader, has been reprinted, by permission, and at the 
cost of a manufacturer in the North, for gratuitous circulation among visitors at 
the Crystal Palace, by whom he thinks it may be usefully read. Other copies can 
be had at one halfpenny each, or sixpence per dozen, of our publisher. 

Archbishop Hughes has reached Paris, says the New York Herald, on his way 
home from Rome, without the red hat. The Pope has behaved very shabbily to 
our New York prelate. Instead of giving him a hat — a Cardinal's hat — his 
Holiness only gave him a fish. The Pope was more polite to Mrs. Bennett, when 
she last visited the Eternal City. His Holiness presented to that lady a beautiful 
cameo portrait of himself, and a plenary indulgence, signed by his own hand, for 
her husband. Unfortunate Archbishop ! 

Le Flaneur remarks: — 'It will be recollected that one of the charges against 
Lord Torrington was that he hanged a Buddhist priest in his calico robe of pagan 
priesthood. The intelligent electors of Cork are very much dissatisfied with their 
member, the witty Serjeant Murphy, for his vote. " Augh, the Judas ! Sure he 
voted for hanging a holy praast ! Augh, the villain !" The Serjeant says it would 
be of no use to explain that it was a pagan priest, and not a Roman Catholic ; but 
that if he tells them it was a Protestant priest, he shall become more popular 
than ever.' 

The Tablet contains an advertisement appealing for subscriptions in aid of the 
Popish rioters at Birkenhead. Among the donations advertised are : — ' His 
Eminence Cardinal Wiseman, £10.' 

The ' Principles of Belief held by a Searcher after Truth,' given in a recent 
number of the Reasoner, have been reprinted and circulated in Lincolnshire. 

We have received No. 1 of the Christian Reasoner, an imitation of this paper. 

No. 2 of the Exponent contains an article on Thomas Cooper. 

The Popular Tribune (Mr. Cabet's Journal) tells us, in No. 18, that the 
Archbishop of Paris occupied himself with social reforms, and now a do- 
minican friar. Father Lacordaire, one of the most eloquent preachers who are 
the pride of the Catholic church in France, is also meddling with those questions, 
and with the approbation of said archbishop, is almost indulging in Socialism, says 
the conservative cornespondent of the Courrier des Etats- Unis, to the great scandal 
of those whom he terms the insolent aristocracy of money. 

London: Printed by Holyoake Brothers, 3, Queen's Head Passage, Patemo»ter-row ; and Published 
by J. Watson, 3, Queen's Head Passage, Paternoster-row.— Wednesday, July 28rd, 1861. 



They who believe that they have Truth ask no favour, save that of being heard: they dare the 
judgment of Mankind : refused Co-operation, they invoke Opposition, for Opposition ia their 
Opportunity. — Editok. 



If there was one thing for which Mr. H.'s recent lectures were more marted 
than another it was this — unsupported assertions. He was at no pains to inform 
his audience of the sources of his information, to assign his reasons for the opinions 
he advocated, and to give his authority for what he brought forward as facts. He 
asserted much but proved little. Had it been otherwise, had he supported by 
clear and irrefragable arguments what he urged as objections to Christianity, the 
consequences of his visit to Lancaster might, in the experience of a few, have 
been serious and disastrous ; but as it was, the firmness of the foundation of the 
Christian's faith was only made more than usually obvious, and little or no injury, 
I should apprehend, was sustained by any one. Still the course which Mr. H. 
pursues, whether advantageous or not to the cause he advocates, is one to which 
every person who values truth and loves fair play will very strongly object. It 
evades the difficulty of the question at issue, produces false impressions with 
regard to the real character of Christianity, and countenances a mode of dealing 
with the gravest and most important subjects which cannot be too earnestly 
deprecated and opposed. But that I may not even seem to fall into the error of 
which I complain, I forthwith submit the following assertions of Mr. H. as speci- 
mens of those with which I now find fault. 

'The books of the Buddhists contain a better system of morality than the Bible.' 

* I have known districts where truth has been entirely suppressed by persecution.' 

* Civilisation, or the means of producing it, has always preceded the introduction of 
the Gospel among the people who have received it.' ' The Christian system is 
essentially a system of persecution.' ' Popery is Bible Christianity ; all its 
doctrines are reducible from the scriptures.' ' Sir Isaac Newton was a Unitarian — 
was a poor theologian — was great only in mathematics — is never quoted by the 
pulpits — and wrote only one book on religion towards the close of his life.' 

These are some of the grave and important statements which Mr. H. ventured 
to advance without proof or confirmation. But the reason, doubtless, was because 
he had none to supply. They might, therefore, with perfect safety, be left where 
they are. Unsupported, what are they worth ? Yet a few counter statements may 
not be without use. The works of Dr. Medhurst and Mr. Fortune, on China, 
prove then the first of these assertions to be totally untrue : the whole history 
of truth in the world contradicts the second : the travels of Captain Cook, Ellis's 
Polynesian Researches, Williams's Missionary Enterprises, Moffat's South Africa, 
demonstrate the incorrectness of the third : every page of the New Testament, and 
the life of every man who strictly adheres to the example and teachings of Jesus 
Christ, refute the fourth: the Bible, Fletcher's Lectures on Roman Catholicism, 
Cumming's Protestant Discussion, and Seymour's Mornings with the Jesuits at 

[No. 2/0.] « INo. 11, Vol. XI.] 



Rome, supply the answer to the fitth : and the Life of Sir Isaac Newton, by Sir 
David Brewster, triumphantly confutes the last. 

Mr. H. objects to miracles as evidences for the truth of Christianity, because they 
are not intelligible to the common people. But what is there that is unintelligible 
about them ? What is there that requires to be known about them to constitute 
them proofs of the truth of the Scriptures, that the most illiterate may not 
comprehend ? It is ah facts that miracles are evidences of the verity of the Bible, 
and as facts they are intelligible to all. The objection, therefore, that they are 
unintelligible, is a mere evasion of their force as a source of proof for the truth 
of the Christian religion. 

The prophecies of the Scriptures are objected to by Mr. H., not on the ground 
of improbability or impossibility, but of meagreness. They refer to such insignificant 
events, and to such obscure peoples ! In making such an assertion, Mr. H. is either 
guilty of the most culpable misrepresentation, or shows himself to be most grossly 
ignorant of the Book against which he declaims. The prophecies of the Old and 
New Testaments refer to the greatest and most important events that have ever 
occurred, and embrace the interests not only of nations, but of mankind at large. 
They comprise the overthrow of Nineveh, Babylon, Tyre, and Jerusalem — the rise 
and fall of the Assyrian, Persian, Grecian, and'Homan empires — the dispersion, 
conversion, and restoration of the Jews — the universal diffusion of Christian truth, 
the resurrection of the dead, and the general judgment of mankind. Are these 
obscure and insignificant matters ? 

But the crucifixion of Christ forms a main hindrance with Mr. H. to a reception 
of Christianity. He cannot reconcile that event with the representations usually 
made of the Divine character, and with truth, justice, and love. And he rejects 
as wholly untrue both the record of the event itself, the book in which it is found, 
and the doctrine of the existence of Him who is said to have required such a 
sacrifice for the expiation of human guilt. A strange mode indeed of settling the 
question of the truthfulness of Christianity ! A ' New class of reasons in truth 
for not accepting the religious doctrines of the day !' But things have not quite 
come to such a pass as this. The verity of the Bible does not depend on Mr. H.'s 
ability to harmonise its statements with his notions of propriety and rectitude. It 
rests on an infinitely nobler, better, and surer basis. The death of Christ was a 
voluntary death — a free, spontaneous, and self-chosen act on the part of Christ 
himself, and as such never can, on any ground of fairness and justice, be adduced 
to tell against the Divine character, as one of perfect purity, boundless love, and 
infinite excellence. 'No man taketh my life from me, I have power to lay it down 
and to take it up again.' * I came not to do my own wilL' ' Christ loved us and 
gave himself for us.' 

But if the crucifixion of Christ does not show that God is stern, unforgiving, 
unloving, and unlovely, the punishment of men for carrying into effect his own 
purposes, most assuredly does. The betrayers and crucifiers of Christ fulfilled the 
Divine intention and decree ; yet they were charged with the deepest guilt for so 
doing, and punished accordingly. Does not this demonstrate Capriciousness and 
cruelty, and constitute God unworthy of our confidence and regard ? So reasons 
Mr. H. But before this reasoning is accepted and deemed of any weight, the 
following questions must be answered. On what ground did the men in question 
act? Were they acquainted with the Divine purpose, and did they act with the 
view of executing it ? What were the motives and feelings by which they were 
influenced in the course they pursued ? Is it opposition to the secret decrees of 
God or to his clearly revealed will that constitutes men sinners, and deserving of 


panishment ? The men in question transgressed and disregarded, by the course 
they prosecuted, what had been given to them as the rule of their conduct, and 
were influenced throughout by the worst of motives and feelings. ' Seciet things 
belong unto the Lord our God, but those things which are revealed belong unto 
us and to our children for ever.' The secret purposes of God are never intended 
to be a rule of life to us: it is the law and the testimony that constitute this, and 
which are clearly and fully revealed to us in the hooks of the Scriptures. 

But then men, according to Mr. H., cannot be sinners. They live under the 
regime of a stern, inflexible, and irresistible necessity ; and from what they cannot 
avoid or prevent themselves from doing, they cannot be accounted either re- 
sponsible or guilty. Admit this doctrine to be true — that men are necessitated 
to do all that they perform, and what is the conclusion which directly and ir- 
resistibly foUowB ? This, most obviously — that they can no more be charged 
with ofience against one another than against God — that do what they may they 
are guiltless — that no sovereign can charge a rebellious subject with crime, no 
parent accuse a wayward and self-willed child of disobedience and ingratitude, and 
no man blame another for any amount of injustice and injury he may receive at 
his hands. But a doctrine which is so absurd and monstrous, which every man's 
consciousness tells him is untrue, and which Mr. H. himself constantly disregards, 
though earnest in the inculcation of it, I will not spend a moment in refuting. 
The man who seeks refuge in such a doctrine is generally in a sorry plight. His 
cause is then desperate. 

* A tree,' said the greatest and best of teachers, ' is known by its fruit.' Never 
was a simpler or more satisfactory rule of judging of the character of opinions 
and systems given. Can infidelity bear its application? I believe not. But 
whether it can bear it or not, the application shall be made. Infidelity has always 
been boastful and pretending. It oS'ers to men what is better than Christianity — 
it assures them of calm retreats, elysium fields, never-failing gratifications, free- 
doms from the power and tyranny of the pulpits, reason instead of faith, certainty 
instead of doubt, intelligence instead of superstition, and confidence in the hour of 
death instead of doubts and misgivings. Well, what are its actual fruits ? It has 
long existed — nearly as long as Christianity. What, then, has it accomplished 
for mankind? What wastes has it reclaimed ? What nations of barbarians has 
it civilised ? What barren, burning deserts has it converted into cultivated and 
fertile lands? How many lazar houses has it erected? How many hospitals? 
How many asylums ? How maiiy houses for the destitute ? How many mis- 
sionaries has it labouring among the degraded tribes of Africa — among the super- 
stitious Hindoos — among the savage inhabitants of the South Sea Islands ? When 
enthroned in France, was the reign it set up a reign of love — the laws it enacted 
righteous laws — the customs it countenanced generous and elevating customs — 
and the morality it inculcated and encouraged high-toned morality ? The answer 
is emphatically, No. Infidelity has none of these things. But ' a tree is known 
by its fruit.' James Fleming. 


To the EdXtor of the Lancaster Cruardian. 
Sib, — The tone of the review to which I now close my reply is, I am bound to 
admit, much more decorous and kindly than I could have expected after the extra- 
ordinary opening of our controversy, which appeared in the Guardian of May 17. 
Yet, in his review, my reverend opponent, directly and by implication, applies to 


me twenty-one epithets, such as a disputant employs when, not content with 
stating, he must also judge his own case. The purity of controversy warns me 
not to retort these epithets, which would cause an objection to be made to free 
discussion itself, which properly belongs to the peculiar manner in which it is 
sometimes conducted. Therefore, as in my previous letters, I shall confine myself 
to Mr. Fleming's substantive arguments. 

As examples of ' unsupported a,ssertions;' which my opponent somewhat emphati- 
cally declares me to have indulged in, he reports that I made mention of the books 
of the Buddhists as containing a better system of morality than the Bible. My pre- 
ference for Buddhism, as I stated, was founded on the fact that its theory was that of 
the worship of Pure Intellect, and the elevation of men to the heavenly state, by 
meritorious works, which I considered more instructive than the worship of the 
Christian deities, and healthier than Salvation by Faith. Mr. Fleming does not 
say whether Medhurst and Fortune differ from me in these points of fact ; it is 
nothing to the purpose that they differ from me as to opinion. 

In the course of one of my lectures, I read from the review in the Examiner 
of Sir Emerson Tennent's late work on ' Christianity in Ceylon, and the Buddhist 
Superstitions' — a late authority, which I rnay oppose to Mr. Fleming's authorities, 
Medhurst and Fortune. The Examiner reports that ' the chief results which the 
Christian missions in Ceylon demonstrate is the important fact, that nothing but 
the preliminary cultivation of the intellectual faculties by education and secular 
teaching has as yet succeeded in India in preparing the way for the Gospel ;' and 
I added that our missionaries generally found the natives more grateful for our 
arts than for our creeds. It was thus that I ' supported ' this assertion. 

True, I said the Christian system is one of persecution, and I told Mr. Fleming 
how, in the case of my own imprisonment. Christians set a watch upon me, 
Christians informed against me. Christians prejudiced the public against me — how 
by Christian pay were hireling lawyers retained against me — how by Christian 
witnesses I was confronted, by the Christian press misrepresented, by a Christian 
jury found guilty, by a Christian judge condemned — how Christian preachers 
proved the scripturalness of the whole proceeding, and Christian congregations 
gave thanks to God for the success of the prosecution. Also I read to Mr. 
Fleming other passages from the History of my Trial. Thus I sustained another of 
the assertions which Mr. Fleming, by a remarkably free use of language, affirms that 
I left unsupported. In the same manner, >iid space allow me to recount the argu- 
ment of my lecture on * Catholicism consistent Christianity ' — Catholicism which 
I proved had for its principle, Authority ; for its agents, 1. Terror, 2. Persecu- 
3. Inquisition — the public would see that Mr. Fleming must attach some private 
meaning to the term unsupported when he connects it to my assertions. Perhaps 
he means unsupported to his satisfaction. 

If Mr. Fleming distrusts my experience and the facts I detailed as to troth being 
put down by persecution, let him read one of the leaders in the Times, of iMov. 28, 
1850. If that reference is inconvenient, he may see the passage in Reasoner No. 243. 

Brucker, who renders the completest account of Sir Isaac Newton's religious 
opinions with which I am acquainted, and which Mr. Fleming will find quoted at 
length in Chalmers's 'Biographical Dictionary,' gives us no idea that Newton 
believed in the Trinity. The gist of Sir Isaac's argument, as given by Brucker, is 
this : — * God is omnipresent substantially, {or power cannot exist without substance.^ 
' What the substance of anything is we are xvholly ignorant.^ ' God exists to us in a 
manner altogether unknown.' Surely this is Unitarian, so far as the oneness of 
God is concerned ? Was such a medley of divinity as this ever before or since 


propounded by a mathematical philosopher ? How did Newton know that God 
existed 'substantially' — that is, in substance — if we are 'wholly ignorant' what 
substance is ? How could Newton prove that God exists ' substantially,' if the 
' manner ' of his existence to us is wholly unknown ?' If the pulpits make a prac- 
tice of quoting this wondrous assortment of contradictions — which Mr. Fleming . 
asserts, by implication, Sir David Brewster triumphantly establishes — all I can say 
is, the pulpits are less wise than I took them to be. The only edition of Brew- 
ster's Life of Newton which I have seen is the New York one in the British 
Museum. Sir David gives very fairly the conflicting testimony as to Sir Isaac's 
opinions, but anything but ' triumphantly establishes ' his Trinitarianism. 

Whatever can my reviewer mean when he says I ' objected to miracles because 
they were unintelligible to the common people?' On the contrary, I said they 
were the most intelligible things possible, especially the fish with the income tax 
in his mouth, which would be quite a favourite in these times — especially the few 
small loaves which fed 12,000. The Poor Law Commissioners would make a king 
of that man who could work such miracles now. A recent writer of no mean 
research has lately observed, that ' One of the insuperable difficulties of the 
miracle is the moral one — why, if really possible, it does not manifest itself oftener. 
A descent of Vishnou is too often wished for in vain.' 

As I,did not object to the miracles because the common people could not under- 
stand them, neither did I object to the prophecies * because of their meagreuess.' 
I could not see, and I cannot see, what either one or the other has to do with plain 
people in these days. We are not savages who must be confounded by legerde- 
main, nor are we of that class who tempt fate. We are men who should make fate 
— not weak girls, who go hang their hopes on fortune-telling. 1 told Mr. Fleming 
that I would accept Christianity, if morally consonant, without miracle or prophecy 
to recommend it; then why dwells he on points which I conceded? Is there but 
one track in which he can walk, can he not get beyond Keith and Paley ? Must 
orthodox conti'oversy pursue one mill-horse round for ever ? He says mine is ' a 
strange mode of settling the truth of Christianity.' To him doubtless it is, who 
does not appear to have two ideas on the subject. Let us settle its morality first, 
and then its truthfulness will take care of itself. 

Again : I submit deferentially that the question is not why did the Jews crucify 
Christ, but why was it needful that an exhibition so appalling should have been 
necessary in order to take away the sins of the world. If Mr. Fleming says it 
was not necessary, he indeed will meet me to some purpose, and I shall be but too 
happy to agree with him. My argument is that nothing of the kind could be 
necessary. In the eighteenth edition of the ' Logic of Death' (p.l5), the essay out 
of which this controversy arose, I have expressed my Ciise, which I submit Mr. 
Fleming has not in any way invalidated. 

Since we are made to be what we are by that inevitable necessity, whose 
currents set in before we began to exist, and which bear us along to our des- 
tiny, I argued that we cannot be accountable for our fate to Him from whose 
hands we are assured the issues of our life proceeded. Mr. Fleming de- 
clares this doctrine absurd and monstrous, and so it is when he states the in- 
ference from it. He makes it to appear that because men are not responsible to 
God, that there can be no obedi^ce or gratitude exacted between man and man. 
But because God cannot well hold as guilty for being what he has made us to be, 
it surely does not follow that men may not exact that order necessary to their 
mutual protection, and expect that pleasure will be felt when happiness is conferred 
upon the miserable ? Neither with God or men does this doctrine of necessity 



interrupt government, it only interrupts punishment. Its moral lesson is to teach 
us how, by wise calculation, we may supersede punishment by making crime impos- 
sible. It is only when Mr. Fleming states this theory, that it is ' monstrous and 
absurd.' I may address that gentlemanin the language of the author of the Podesta: — 

' Look closer to't ; you make the evil first — 

A base, then pile a heap of censures on it. 

'Tis your own sin supplies the scafiFolding 

And mason woik; you skilful rear the grim 

Unsightly fabric ; and there point, and say 

" How ugly is it." You meanwhile forget 

'Tis your own handy work.' 
It would ill repay your courtesy, Mr. Editor, to extend this reply by a formal 
refutation of that remark which comes with such bad grace from Mr. Fleming, 
viz., that the tree of infidelity is not advantageously known by its fruit. What 
fruit has Christianity borne to us after its eighteen centuries of elaborate advocacy 
and divine support — with discord in all our churches, unfriendliness of spirit in its 
members, artifice in trade — with a league among crowns to putdown liberty abroad — 
with oppression in politics at home — with ignorance among the people and misery 
everywhere ? Is it a Christian who asks what fruits have infidelity borne, which has 
so rarely had free or fair play where Christians have had power to prevent it ? In 
this country Christian magistrates refuse to take our oaths, and men of wealth 
who make a profession of atheism endanger their possessions. Wherever property 
has been left for the establishment of our opinions in London, Manchester, Cork, 
France, America, judges declared it left for an 'immoral' purpose, and the 
triumphant and nefarious Christian has carried it away for his own purposes. 
Whatever the testimony of a man's conscience may be, he must die under the 
profession of Christian name, or his relatives, if he die poor, may suffer. Every 
charity in the kingdom is in the receipt of contributions from infidels and atheists, 
the credit of which the Christian claims, because the donors must accept the 
Christian designation in order to preserve social status. The Christian refuses us 
the protection of the laws — he causes the law to deny us freedom while living, to 
plunder us when we are dead — and then he has the effrontery to turn round and 
demand what fruits has the tree of infidelity borne. Notwithstanding these dis- 
advantages, it has often wrested civilisation from the despoiling hand of supersti- 
tion. It has struggled for the education of the people, ever delayed by the 
jealousies or the fears of sects. It has discovered the presence of Law in mind 
which has made progress into a science, and has substituted Systematic Morality 
for that oriental declamation which has so long failed to reach human practice. 
In the person of Voltaire, infidelity, as Lamartine assured us, gave freedom to 
France. In the person of Paine, it gave independence to America. Thus the 
people in the Old World and the New have owed Liberty to two advocates of 
Infidelity; can Mr. Fleming say as much of any two Christian Ministers ? 

Before concluding, there is one acknowledgment due to Mr. Fleming, which I 
have no disposition to conceal or to moderate. When he has had to speak of me, 
he has not done it by inuendo, but mentioned me by name — so that I have known 
the exact amount of responsibility devolving on me to meet. When he has 
referred to my publications he has done it by quoting their titles, so that others 
might, if they pleased, refer to them also, and judge between us. This is a fair- 
ness not usual in our opponents. It is fearless in Mr. Fleming, and on these 
accounts, when he says he has no apprehension of the strength of our case or the 
progress of our opinions, I believe him ; and I make no ungrudging acknowledg- 
ment of his honour and liis courage in these respects. 

Perhaps Mr. Fleming may care to write further, to explain something I may 
have misunderstood or lepresented inaccurately, or to supply some omission ; in 
which case you, Mr. Editor, may fear, if I wish lo answer such further communi- 
cation, that theie will be no end to the controversy you have done me the honour to 
permit. I therefore say that I do not wish to reply again upon this subject. 
Having been heard in ray own defence, if I have not made my case good, it has 
been my fault not to have made better use of my^opportunity ; and I leave to my 
opponent, as 1 usually prefer to do, the last word. G. Jacob Holtoake. 



n tlft §iin al <@atns to Cljurcl^. 

The utter absence of life and vitality, 
which characterise the observance of 
the Sabbath and its ordinances, is a 
source of much deep regret to sincerely 
professing Christians. Believing that 
some spiritual eflScacy is bound up in 
these observances, they must witness 
with inward grief what they account the 
gradual decay of religious feeling as 
exhibited in its established forms. For 
us to assume much sympathy with this 
grief would be as hypocritical as it is 
absurd. Erroneously based, however, 
as we believe this feeling to be, we dare 
assert there are few who have thrown 
off all reverence for established forms 
without a struggle, or who have not 
severally, at certain stages of their 
mental development, felt in a similar 
manner. Inasmuch as this feeling is 
almost invariably the precursor of in- 
quiry, it ought to be favourably regarded. 
We witness its tendency in the plain 
speaking sincerity and earnest vigour of 
Buch minds as Newman, Foxton, Froude, 
Maurice, Kingsley, and others. Among 
formalists generally such views find no 
favour, and it is to excite inquiry 
among these that this address is written. 
The arguments attempted to be drawn 
from Scripture for a Sabbath observance 
have been exposed and refuted so fre- 
quently that it were needless waste of 
time to enter upon the subject here. 
Many of the most learned divines and 
commentators within the church have 
shown that this embodiment of the 
Jewish ceremonial law is nowhere en- 
joined upon professing Christians.* 
The letter of the Bible commands no 
such observance, and the spirit of the 


little wonderful that such an idea should 
be eagerly seized upon by many to esta- 
blish, by flocking to this weekly spec- 
tacle, a claim to superior piety. But in 
vain may we expect in a man any 
clear perception of the ' beauty of holi- 
ness ' who confines its exemplification 
to one day out of seven. If he does not 
do so, what then is meant by ' keeping 
holy the Sabbath day ?' Is it by such a 
holiness as is to have no connection with 
other days ? If so, what is this holiness 
worth, or rather, how comes he to call 
that holiness which may be put on and 
off with his Sunday suit? If it must 
have such a connection, we would simply 
inquire how he finds himself warranted 
in making a distinction between these 
six days and the seventh. By what 
most curious and recondite process does 
he reconcile it with his conscience to 
keeping especially holy one day out of 
seven, when he knows that he is equally 
bound to realise his highest idea of holi- 
ness every day of his life? The tendency 
of such an injunction is to degrade and 
deaden all religious feeling. Common 
sense must teach us, that a man who 
deems his exertions to be principally 
required against a certain day will, in 
spite of himself, show a corresponding 
laxity in conforming to the same prin- 
ciples throughout the week. If he shews 
no such laxity he keeps no Sabbath. 

For how much mean selfishness and 
conventional cant is this church-going a 
cover and palliative, especially among 
the respectable classes ! and how 
much longer is it that such precious 
mummery will be allowed to deceive 
even the most simple of us lookers on ? 

New Testament is in direct opposition From the importance attached to this 

to it.f The dogma that one day out of 
seven only is to be kept holy, is as 
absurd as it is profane. Founded as 
it is on a total misapprehension of what 
constitutes religious feeling, it seems 

* Grotius,Bucer, Calvin, Pebo, Martyr, 
Musculus Ursinus, Gomarus, and more 
lately Dr. Paley, Dr. Lingard, Archbishop 
Whately, and others. 

t ' The Mosaic Sabbath.' (Chapman & 
Hall, London.) ' No Sabbath in Chris- 
tianity.' (Barlow, Newcastle-ou-Tyne.) 

observance by the * saints,' one might 
imagine some wondertul effect followed 
these weekly visitations to what is termed 
the * sanctuary.' A very slight expe- 
rience would convince him of his error. 
He could not long witness the cool self- 
satisfied demeanour of your orthodox 
church-goer without becoming aware 
that he had committed some grievous 
mistake. None seem to desire, far less 
to expect, any change. Perhaps they 
think it is enjoined in Scripture ; but 
whether or not, the pi-iest, at all events, 



enjoins it, and they rejoice thereat. It 
is a pleasant and a goodly thing when 
some shoT of piety, however trifling, 
attaches to an observance at once public 
and fashionable. Religion would be but 
a poor element after all, unless it were 
respectable, and made some display. 
Only through this and other spectacles 
is it recognised by formalists — and, in- 
deed, without them would be esteemed 
altogether worthless. It is held in 
Scotland, that if a man is seen at kirk 
or market the week before his decease, 
he is accounted in good health, and in a 
competent state to make his will. By a 
parity of reasoning, these church-goes 
seem to imagine that a decent obser- 
vance of this ceremony constitutes piety. 
On no other ground is it possible to 
account for their most regular and 
business-like attendance. We find in 
them no exemplication of the spirit of 
Christianity. They have no idea of a 
religion influencing every day life, but 
the whole is comprehended in the ob- 
servance of certain forms and a belief 
in certain dogmas. It has no connec- 
tion with their social state, and any 
attention to the cure or alleviation of its 
evils forms no part of what they de- 
nominate their ' religious duties.' In 
the decay of such a religion all good 
men rejoice, and in the exposure and 
ridicule of its upholders it is time that 
all true men should aid. Nothing 
proves the soul-destroying efliects of 
formalism more than the total absence 
of the slightest approach to enthusiasm, 
and the aversion to inquiry, which cha- 
racterise its votaries. They profess a 
pious horror at any new ideas calculated 
to disturb their routine of vacuity, or 
occasion unpleasant reflections. They 
prefer being ' blind in public to seeing 
in secret.' Having succeeded perhaps 
in deceiving themselves, they at last 
come to deem it possible to deceive 
others with their round of conventionali- 
ties and weekly displays, their oracular 
utterance of unintelligible cant and 
saintly hypocrisy. Atraid, after all, to 
call their minds their own, it were 
surely expecting too much to imagine 
they could ever eatertain even a mode- 
rate respect for the convictions of others. 
They do not l^>ve earnestness — why, 
indeed, should they? It is a restless, 
uncomfortable commodity, and savours, 
tuo, of change and innovation. Were 

Christ now to appear on earth, these 
saints, who monopolise all the talk 
about him, would be the first to cry him 
down as a dreamer or turbulent fellow. 
In obedience to another dictum, and 
that other a man fallible as themselves, 
they have learnt to distrust their own 
inmost convictions and feelings. Car- 
ried on through life in a dull, soul- 
enslaving routine — bound, as they ima- 
gine, to believe a series of absurd and 
incomprehensible dogmas — their sym- 
pathies and aspirations become either 
wholly torpid, or find ample vent in 
some half-strangled form of joint-stock 
charity, on which they feel bound to 
engraft their own narrow sectarian ideas. 
Religion is a thing kept altogether apart 
from the shop or counter, the market 
or the exchange. Perhaps they have a 
dim kind of perception that the two 
would not work well together, at least 
not to what they conceive their worldly 
prosperity. Hence the fancy of having 
them in separate parcels. 

Thus, from motives of cold and self- 
ish prudence, stifling within themselves 
and ignoring in others the existence of 
our spiritual perceptions, we cease to 
wonder at the decay of religious obser- 
vances. The uphold^s themselves have 
brought them into contempt. It may 
fairly be questioned whether such soul- 
less hucksters in religious forms ever 
deceive each other, but certain it is they 
no longer deceive society. In the pre- 
sent day, the fact of one's regular at- 
tendance at church would fail to pre- 
possess an intelligent mind in favour of 
his religious feeling or moral rectitude. 
For with none of these (thanks to the 
conventionalism of the saints) has 
church-going, even presumptively, the 
smallest connection. But with a world 
of intolerance and selfish hypocrisy, it 
has, singular to say, a very essential one. 
Show me a narrow-minded, sanctimo- 
nious saint, and you as certainly shew 
me a regular attender at church, perhaps 
a quasi * respectable ' man. Can any 
good motive induce my attendance or 
fellowship with such as these, or can I 
do so without violating my own moral 
consciousness ? My natural position to 
such a man, or to such a class of men, 
is one of antagonism. Why should we 
partake their spiritual lethargy, or 
rather, why should we affect to do so ? 
L?t each, at all events, maintain intact 



bis own integrity. If we cannot always 
realise our conception of what is holy, 
just, and true, we shall still absoWe us 
to ourselves as having sincerely striven 
to do so ; but this superstitious mum- 
mery of conformity is as ruinous as it 
is degrading. If our life has no intrin- 
sic value, it is absolutely worse than 
valueless when we lend our countenance 
to what is erroneous in theory and Pha- 
risaical in practice. A conformity such 
as these saints would wish is neither 
possible nor desirable. No good end 
is ever to be served by conscious dis- 
simulation and hypocrisy. We cannot, 
with impunity, so tamper with ourselves. 
All forms are only useful in so far as 
they embody realities; and when they do 
so, it is the realities only that are prized. 
Forms are then unthought of, and are 
merely accidental, not insisted on. 
Among professing Christians, this order 
of things is now reversed. Possessing 
no longer in their souls the vitality 
which first originated them, each thinks 
to conceal his spiritual death by seizing 
on the forms, which he holds forth and 
observes as possessing life. But the 
time during which such shallow mockery 
can deceive others is fast passing away, 
A purer and more living faith than now 
animates the churches has begun to dawn 
among them. The epithets of infidel 
and atheist have lost their power to 
terrify or scare away inquiry. Some are 
even bold enough to contend that the 
only men deserving the name infidel are 
formalists and church-goers, who, lack- 
ing sincerity to inquire for themselves, 
are, if possible, even more unwilling 
that any one else should dare to do so. 
As a means of moral and religious 
culture, the church has had its day, and 
it were folly to deny that it has doubtless 
done good work in its time. But no 
forms can long outlive the necessities 
which gave them birth. Tempora 
mutahtur et nos mutamur in illis. The 
soul of man is destined successively to 
outgrow all forms. Bound strictly by 
none, it aspires constantly after the 
highest and purest ideal. Chui'ch at- 
tendance is rapidly becoming a thing of 
the past, and those minds are fast in- 
creasing who perceive and accept this 
fact Neither need such as bewail this 
' mourn as those without hope.' Cast- 
ing aside as nought the prejudices of 
early religious training and association, 
calm and impartial reflection must sug- 

gest that religious feeling is not tied 
down to manifest itself in church-atten- 
dance, or any other set form of worship. 
The spirit will not be so bound or dic- 
tated to. Only in proportion as religion 
is pure and spiritual is it independent of 
forms. It is said of Milton, that he 
grew old without visible worship. Yet 
scarcely the most igaorantly bigoted 
mind would deny to our prince of poets 
strong religious feelings. The convic- 
tion is slowly and steadfastly permeating 
all churches, that religion is of no church 
or creed. 

He prayeth best who loveth best 
All things, both great and small ; 
For the dear God who loveth us 
He made and loveth all. 

When we see religious bodies attaching 
importance to certain forms, be sure 
they have already lost a portion of that 
spirit for which no forms will compen- 
sate. This spirit it rests with ourselves 
to evoke into true life, grandeur, and 
beauty. It can exist — it does exist — 
independent of all Prophets and Mes- 
siahs, Bibles or Korans. Inherent in 
the nature of man, its strength is only 
attainable in perfect freedom. 

In no age could it necessarily follow 
that a man was destitute of religion 
who ceased to attend church ; and in 
the present day there does not even 
exist such a presumption. Church- 
attendance is not a religious act, but only 
the simulation of what, under different 
times and ciicumstances, might have 
been so. What wonder if it has ceased 
to satisfy the wants and aspirations of 
the mass of inquiring minds ? Within, 
all is dull, cold, and dead ; without, all 
is busy, stirring, and progressive. No 
man, in full possession of his faculties, 
can hesitate in his choice. The church 
has isolated, and persists in isolating, 
itself. An eminent American writer* 
has thus forcibly expressed himself on 
the anomalous position of the church in 
connection with this observance: — 'It 
seemed strange that the people should 
come to church. It seemed as if their 
houses were very unentertaining, that 
th^y should prefer this thoughtless 
clamour. It shows that there is a com- 
manding attraction in the moral senti- 
ment that can lend a faint tint of light to 
dulness and ignorance, coming in its 

* Emerson. 



place. The good hearer is sure thathe has 
been touched — sometimes is sure that 
thei'e is somewhat to be reached, and 
some word that can reach it. When he 
listens to these vain words, he comforts 
himself by their relation to his remem- 
brance of better hours ; and so they 
clatter and echo unchallenged,' To the 
dullness and ignorance here spoken 
of every intelligent man who has atten- 
ded church can bear witness; but, with 
deference to Emeison, we must be al- 
lowed to doubt whether the commanding 
attraction of the moral sentiment would 
long avail to draw him thither. We 
quarrel not, however, with a description 
which, while charitably construing the 
good hearers' attendance, renders the 
observance itself sufficiently contemp- 

Milton, too, besides shewing how 
entirely destitute is this ceremony of 
any scripture authority, has pictured a 
state of things, quoted by the previous 
writer, the spirit of which is even truer 
in our own day than it could have pos- 
sibly been in his time : — 

'A wealthy man, addicted to his 
pleasures or to his profits, finds religion 
to be a traffic so entangled, and of so 
many puddling accounts, that of all 
mysteries he cannot skill to keep a stock 
going on that trade. What should he 
do? Fain he would have the name to 
be religious ; fain he would bear up with 
his neighbours in that. What does he, 
therefore, but resolve to give over toil- 
ing, and to find himself out some factor 
to whose care and credit he may commit 
the whole managing of his religious 
affiiirs — some divine of note and estima- 
tion that must be. To him he adheres; 
resigns the whole warehouse of his re- 
ligion, with all the locks and keys, into 
his custody, and, indeed, makes the very 
person of that man his religion ; esteems 
his associating with him a sufficient 
evidence and commendatory of his own 
piety. So that a man may say his re- 
ligion is now no more within himself, 
but is become a dividual moveable, and 
goes and comes near him according as 
that good man frequents the house. He 
entertains him, gives him gifts, feeds 

him, lodges him — his religion comes 
home at night, prays, is liberally sup- 
ped, and sumptuously laid to sleep, 
rises, is saluted, and after the malmsey 
or some well-spiced beverage and better 
breakfast than he whose morning ap- 
petite would have gladly fed on green 
figs between Bethany and Jerusalem, 
his religion walks abroad at eight, leav- 
ing his kind entertainer in the shop 
trading all day without his religion.' 

The besetting sins of our social system 
are selfishness and conventionalism. 
Religion, as exemplified in established 
forms, is saturated with it. If our clergy 
possessed, as they assume to do, the 
office of divine teaching, they would 
bear in their lives and characters a com- 
manding evidence of their divine mis- 
sion. But it is needless to dilate upon 
their almost total incapacity. Follow- 
ing blindly the path prescribed by cus- 
tom, ritual, and routine, they have lost 
all recognition of their spirituar office 
and dignity — they, in reality, no longer 
fill such an office. Their claims are 
either tacitly ignored or openly derided 
by all who, emancipated from sectarian 
influence, have ever seriously considered 
the subject. Neither is it so much their 
incapacity as their pretensions and in- 
sincerity which we laugh to scorn. It 
is their false position that subjects them 
to so much obnoxious criticism, against 
which their comparative insignificance 
would otherwise act as an efifectual 
shield. What a monstrous hypocrisy is 
that system by which a certain class of 
men assume such high functions ? or 
what greater folly than to imagine that 
the laying on of hands, and endorse- 
ment of the thirty-nine articles, or the 
confession of faith, can constitute any 
claim in the eyes of liberal men. Judged 
by that high standard of moral and re- 
ligious sentiment which we trace in all 
truly great minds who, as poets and 
philosophers, have been in reality the 
benefactors and elevators of their spe- 
cies, how will these servile imitators 
stand comparison ? The bare idea of 
such a comparison is sufficiently ridicu- 
lous, and no one in his heart ever seri- 
ously makes it. 

[To be concluded in the next number.] 


Our ^aiatform. 

From nrhicb any earnest opponent may controvert our opinions, and from which any may expound views 
not coincident with our own, if tending to the Rationalisation of Theology. 


Sir, — By order of the Central Board I forward the enclosed, requesting that the 
same may be inserted in the Reasoner. 

At a meeting of the Central Board, held on July 2nd, 1851, it was resolved 
' That the petition now read be adopted and forwarded to Mr. Roebuck for presen- 
tation, and that copies be sent to the editors of the Sheffield Free Press, the Reasoner, 
and the Leader, for insertion in their papers ; that copies be also sent to Sir I. L. 
Goldsmid, Messrs. Finch, Green, Clegg, Owen, Bracher, Edmondson, Ashurst, 
Atkinson & Co., Buxton, and the Promoters of Christian Socialism; and that a 
petition be prepared for presentation by the Branches.' 

Thomas Whitakbe, Hon. Fin. Sec. 

'To the Honourable the Commons of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and 
Ireland, in parliament assembled, the petition of the central board of the Rational 
Society, enrolled under 10 George IV., and 4 and 5 William IV., 
' Sheweth, — That in 1835, Robert Owen commenced a society for the practical 
carrying out of his views on co-operation. 

' That in 1837, the rules for the government of the society were agreed upon at 
a general meeting of delegates from various parts of the country, signed among 
others by Robert Owen and John Finch, and copies were sent to J. Tidd Pratt, for 
enrolment and certificate, and were certified and enrolled accordingly. ' 

* That by the said rules the name of the society was declared to be the " National 
Community Friendly Society." 

* That at the annual congress of the society, held in 1838, the said rules were 
revised, and other copies, signed by Robert Owen, John Finch, and William Pare 
among others, were sent as before for enrolment and certificate, and were certified 
and enrolled accordingly. 

' That at the annual congress of the society, held in 1843, it was unanimously 
agreed, amongst other things, that the name of the society should be "The Rational 
Society," and the altered rules were enrolled and certified as before. 

' That after the first enrolment of the society, in 1837, upwards of sixty branches, 
numbering altogether some thousands of members (principally working men), 
were formed in various cities and towns of England and Scotland ; namely, 
amongst others, in London, ManchesJ;er, Liverpool, Birmingham, Bolton, Stock- 
port, Bristol, Huddersfield, Halifax, Blackburn, Bradford, Leeds, Worcester, 
Macclesfield, Coventry, Oldham, Bath, Rochdale, Leicester, Ashton, Sheffield, 
Doncaster, Great Yarmouth, Hull, Wigan, Preston, Newcastle-on-Tyne, Chelten- 
ham, Brighton, Chatham, Sunderland, Darlington, Norwich, Reading, Stour- 
bridge, Northampton, Derby, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Paisley, and Dundee. 

'That after the said first enrolment the members begaji to subscribe money to 
carry out the objects of the society on the faith of its principles, the good character 
of its leaders, and the perfect legality of all the steps that were taken. 

'That at the annual congress, held in 1839, the said John Finch, of Liverpool, 
iron merchant ; William Clegg, of Cheetham Hill, Manchester, merchant ; and 
Charles Frederic Green, of London, gentleman, were appointed trustees of the 
society and lessees of an estate at Queenwood, in the county of Hants, which had 



just then been taken of Sir Isaac Lyon Goldsmid, on behalf of the society, and the 
sum of £37,794 was raised and afterwards expended upon the said estate. 

' That at the annual congress of 1840 the draft of a trust deed, prepared by W. 
H. Ashurst, of Cheapside, London, the society's solicitor, was considered and 
ordered to be completed forthwith. 

' That the said John Finch has written many letters and addresses, from time 
to time, in the Neiv Moral World, which was the weekly ;publication of the 
society, declaring his utmost confidence in the experiment, and urging the 
members to come forward liberally with their subscriptions ; that besides being 
lessee and trustee as aforesaid, he has been the president of the society and signed 
scrip in that capacity ; that he has been president of the congress on various 
occasions, and governor of the community established at Queenwood, as aforesaid, 
and that he insured the said estate in the name of ' John Finch and others, trustees.' 
' That, from an official account rendered to the annual congress in 1845, it ap- 
peared that the sum of £37,794 had been subscribed and lent by the members, 
benefit societies, and others; and the property was valued at ^25,676, leaving a 
deficit of £14,239, after deducting £2,121, being the amount of liabilities to various 

' That, in consequence of this deficiency, it was unanimously agreed, on the 16th 
of July, 1845, by the congress (the said lessees and trustees concurring) to assign 
the property to John Buxton, Frederic Bate, and George Bracher, in trust for the 
benefit of the creditors of the society. 

' That the said assignees forthwith proceeded to compel the members of the 
society who were located on the estate, with their families, to leave it, and begin 
the world again as best they might ; that they also proceeded to make arrangements 
for a sale of the whole estate, which was duly advertised to take place on the 5th 
December, 1845 ; and that the said John Finch then interfered, a few days before 
the sale was to have taken place, and forbade it. 

' That the said John Finch afterwards requested a special congress to be called, 
to consider the best mode of proceeding, which was accordingly done. 

' That', at the said special congress, which was held in April, 1846, the said John 
Finch attended and took his seat as an ex-officio member, by virtue of being 
trustee of the society, as aforesaid ; that he also moved and signed resolutions upon 
which he spoke ; and that the congress confirmed the assignment made, as afore- 
said, at the previous congress, and, by resolution, requested the said Robert Owen 
and William Pare to confer with the said lessees and assignees, in order that a 
speedy and satisfactory settlement of the whole affair might be made. 

« That, in the following month of May, 1846, the said John Finch went down to 
the said estate of the society at Queenwood, and at night, along with others, broke 
into a part of the building well known throughout the country as Harmony Hall, and 
took there from the official books, papers, documents, agreements, and correspon- 
dence belonging to the society, and afterwards boasted that all the members of the 
society were in his power. 

' That, at the annual congress of the society held in 1844, the said John Buxton 
was appointed president of the society and governor of the community, and had 
possession of the property in that capacity ; and that, after his appointment as one 
of the aforesaid assignees, he continued to hold possession by request of his co- 

' That, on the 9th June, 1846, the said John Finch headed a party of agricultural 
labourers, and forcibly ejected the said John Buxton from the estate, and also 


forcibly turned his wife and children out upon the highway, where they all 
encamped for the space of several weeks, until a meeting of creditors and all par- 
ties interested had been held, to decide on what was best to be done under the 

' That the said meeting was called for the 29th of June, 1846, and the said John 
Finch, by public advertisement, forbade the parties to meet upon the said estate, 
and threatened all who came upon it that they would be liable for trespass, and 
also stated in the advertisements that it was believed the principal object of calling 
the meeting was to afford an excuse for parties to congregate together and commit 
a breach oj the peace. 

' That the meeting was therefore held at Rose Hill, a place adjoining the said 
estate, and the said William Pare attended and moved certain resolutions as and 
for the said John Finch, which were passed without any opposition by the meeting. 

' That, immediately after the meeting, the said John Buxton left the estate, and 
it has since been in the possession of the said John Finch, and of one George 
Edmondson, who now holds it. 

' That no account whatever has since been rendered to the society, nor any 
moneys paid over to the members, nor has any statement whatever been made of 
what is intended to be done with respect to the said property. 

' That, from correspondence which has been published, it appears that the said 
John Finch acted, and is acting, under the advice of the said W. H. Ashurst, and 
of Messrs. Atkinson and Sanders, Manchester, solicitors. 

* That one of your petitioners received a letter, on the 18th May, 1846, from the 
said John Finch, in which he stated his opinion to be that the property of the 
society was fairly worth from £18,000 to £20,000. 

' That your petitioners, being publicly and prominently connected with the said 
society, have received very many affecting letters, at various times, from poor 
working men, iu almost all parts of the country, urging them to take effectual 
steps to obtain a settlement of the society's affairs, and to get them the money 
which they had subscribed, the non-possession of which was entailing cruel hard- 
ships upon them. 

* That your petitioners have called upon the said Robert Owen to interfere and 
obtain a settlement, but that he refused to do so. 

' That your petitioners have done all in their power to bring about a settlement 
by moral means, not being able to see that much real benefit was likely to result 
by any proceedings at law. 

' That your petitioners are unable to state whether a trust deed was ever executed 
or not, inasmuch as the papers and documents of the society were improperly 
taken out of their possession as aforesaid ; and, as they are thus debarred from all 
access to the accounts, they cannot ascertain from a perusal of the bill of the said 
W. H. Ashurst any information relative to the execution of the said deed. 

'That the specious and plausible promises held out to the members to subscribe 
their hard-earned money in order to benefit their condition, the number of poor 
members in all parts of the country who were inveigled by those promises, the 
extent of their subsci-iptions, the utter non-fulfilment of the promises or return of 
any of the money, and the wide-spread calamity which has been the result, are 
facts which loudly call for the interference of your honourable house. 

' That, as your honourable house has ordered an inquiry to be made into the 
affairs of the National Land Company, from which much good appears likely to 
result, it is the opinion of your petitioners that a similar result would be effected 



by an inquiry into the affairs of the Rational Society, and the circumstances of the 
case strongly warrant such an inquiry. 

' Your petitioners therefore pray that your honourable house will forthwith 
order an inquiry to be made into the aflfairs of the Rational Society before a com- 
mittee of your honourable house, and that your petitioners, in common with other 
members thereof, may be heard in support of the allegations herein contained, in 
order that justice may be done to all parties interested. 

' And your petitioners, as in duty bound, will ever pray.' 

[Since the discontinaance of the Herald of Progress, the Reasoner has represented 
the gentlemen with whom the above petition originates, and therefore insertion 
is given to it just as it is received. The tone in which it is expressed is to 
be regretted. In vindicating one division of Socialists, the honour of the party 
should not be forgotten. Th^ same facts, which indeed ought to be told, might 
have been expressed with more dignity and more effect; and that best principle of 
Socialism, which teaches us to impute no evil intention to others, especially those 
who have been our colleagues, should have given a different tone to it. Had I 
known anything of the preparation of the petition (which I did not till I received it on a 
printed slip), I should have pleaded for its entire revision. The ieader observes that 
the petition will lead people to suppose that the acts complained of are to be ascribed 
to the legal advice sought,' and adds, that 'of Messrs Atkinson and Sanders it 
knows nothing [which is also true of the Reasoner], but that the character of Mr. 
Ashurst is so unquestionable, that the public will ascribe the implication of his 
name to a feeling of partisanship or misapprehension.' In these remarks I fully 
concur, and I will say more, that the same is true of Mr. Owen and Mr. Pare; nor 
is there any reason to believe that any person mentioned disparagingly has acted 
from any other than fair intention, however unhappy the result has been. How- 
ever agreeing with the truth of the prayer of the petition, I dissent with extreme 
regret from the tone adopted, which will not further justice, but expose a noble 
cause to the derision of its enemies. — G. J. H.] 


There is no Heaven but Love ; 

All things that live and move 

Are upheld by its breath. 

And it is master of the bands of death. 

It makes the weak heart strong. 

The songless gush with song ! 

And spreads the earth with flowers, 

And builds enchanted palaces and bowers. 

It claimeth for its own 

Each lovely tint and tone, 

And maketh Beauty seem 

The semblance of its own delighted dream. 

And vocal to its ear 

Dumb stars and solar sphere — 

Their muffled music comes 

In grandeur, rushing like the roll of drums. 

It sees a mystic sense — 

A language deep, intense — 

In the gross blades and weeds ; 

And floods of glory o'er the silent meads. 

It maketh women's eyes 

Star-blossoms, mysteries I 

And, in celestial sheen. 

Arrays their loveliness of form and mien. 

It decks the virgin bride, 

Paining her balmy side 

With odorous pangs, which start 

To blissful music all her throbbing heart. 

All things fall well it knows; 
And wheresoe'er it goes 
Music and flowers attend, 
And dark, brute forms rejoice, and call it 

All the great works of man 

Are built upon its plan ; 

It paints, and carves the stone. 

And the high realms of Phantat^y doth own. 

And Love, one day, shall reign 

O'er hill and vale and plain ; 

And all the land and sea 

Shall own the triumph of his sovereignty ! 

G. S. p., in the TrrtlA Seeker 
for April, 1851. 

EeaiSoncr iSropagaiUJa. 

To promote the efficiency of the Reasoner as an organ of Propagandi<im, one friend subscribes lOs. 
weekly, another 59., one 2s. monthly, others Is. each weekly— others Intermediate sums or special 
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here and accounted for at the end of the Volume. 

Acknowledged in No. 268, 3493. — Friend of Reason (who resumes his subscrip- 
tion of 5s. weekly) for August, 20s. — Arthur Trevelyan (further subscription) 40s. 
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Our C&ppu page 

The late Dyce Sombre was understood to be the son of a German adventurer in 
India, of the name of Summer, who espoused the late Begum Oomroo. All 
manner of wild and scandalous stories are afloat as. to the life of this woraan and 
the death of her husband. It seems not to be quite certain whether Mr. Dyce 
Sombre was the real or only the adopted child; but, be that as it may, upon the 
death of his father the Begum transferred her maternal affections, such as they 
were, to the son of the German, who was educated, it is said, by a Protestant 
clergyman, although' the old lady herself by turns professed herself a Catholic 
and a Mahometan — having actually built a cathedral and a mosque, with the in 
tention of having two strings to her bow [a wise woman this]. After her demise 
Mr. Dyce Sombre came to Europe, and first made himself remarkable, in Italy, 
by the extraordinary black marble monument which he caused to be executed and 
sent to India in memory of his benefactress. His subseqent life in England has 
already been noticed. In consequence of his death in a state of lunacy, his money 
in the funds, railway shares, and other property, of the annual value of £11,000, 
will become divisible between Captain Troup and General Soldroli, the husbands 
of his two sisters, who are next of kin. An additional sum, producing £4,000 a 
year, will also fall to their families on the death of Mrs. Dyce Sombre. 

A meeting of the creditors of Messrs. Finch and Willey, of the Windsor 
foundry, Liverpool, has been held at the Clarendon Hooms, when it appeared, from 
the statement of accounts submitted, that the total liabilities of the firm were £65000, 
and it was calculated that the assets would realise 10s. in the pound. Mr. E. 
Finch stated that eighteen months ago, on the retirement of Mr. Smith, who is a 
creditor for £7000, there was a loss of £6000 on the concern, and that the com- 
pletion of contracts then on hand had since established a further loss of £7000. 
The Bank of Liverpool is well secured, as also Charles Geach, Esq., M.P., of Bir- 
mingham, who had advanced £10,000 on account of Chepstow bridge ; but the 
creditors of Finch and Son are also creditors to this estate to upwards of £20,000. 
A committee was appointed to wind up the estate as speedily as possible. 

We read among newspaper foreign news that a Gazette, from which the follow- 
ing is taken, has been received: — ' Luh-keen-ying, Governor of the Kieu nan and 
Keang se provinces, in a memorial to the throne, dated the 10th of February, says 
— All sects of false religion burn incense, fast and live upon vegetable diet to 
gather money. Amongst such the Roman Catholics are notorious, worshipping 
the cross, and caring alike neither for heaven nor for ancestors. Under the cloak 
of religion they transgress the law. TTo put the people in good paths is requisite 
to demolish bad religions, and put forward good ones. The classics should be 
taught to every one, even to the peasants, and then no error would find entrance.' 

' The Difficulty Solved, or the Government of the People by Themselves,' 
noticed two numbers since, is published by Watson in London. Omitting to say 
so, has caused inquiries as to how it can be obtained. 

The Essay entitled ' The Philosophic Type of Religion, as developed by Profes- 
sor Newman (in " The Soul, Her Sorrows and Her Aspirations, ") Stated, Ex- 
amined, and Answered, by G. J. Holyoake,' will shortly be ready in a separate form. 

We have pleasure in stating that Mr. Watson has returned home from Cumber- 
land very much improved in health by his excursion. 

London : Printed by Holyoake Brothers, 3, Queen's Head Passage, Paternoster-row; and Published 
by J. Watson, 3, Queen's Head Passage, Paternoster-row. — Wednesday, July 30th, 1851. 



They who believe that thej have Truth ask no favour, save that of being heard: they dare the 
judgment of Mankind : refused Co-operation, they invoke Opposition, for Opposition is their 
Opportunity. — Editos. 


An article appeared in the last number of the Critic upon R, W. Emerson, 
■which is so offensive to good taste, and so gross a slander npon Emerson's character, 
both as a man and a writer, that I must crave your indulgence to say a few words 
in reply. The author of the article is evidently a very young man — not without 
talent — who owes much of his literary culture to Emerson, and a good deal of his 
ill nature, presumption,'and egotism to his creed. He confesses that he was once an 
admirer, in some sort a student, of Emerson ; not that he ever plunged into his 
master's ' fatal negations, or thought meanly of Jesus Christ,' but that he was a 
listener at Gamaliel's feet, and looked with a child's delight upon the painted 
flowers on Gamaliel's robe. It was the garment of the man, not the man himself, 
his refined speculations and practical wisdom, which attracted this darling boy; 
and now that he has grown out of his teens, and grown into a kind of mongrel 
orthodoxy, he is anxious to let the world know how much his youthful mind was 
misled by Emerson, and how very dangerous a person he considers him to be. One 
can very well afford to pardon such a statement as this, and even to thank an 
honest man for showing cause why he changes his opinions upon important and 
disputed subjects : but it is but fair that a plea of this kind should be manly and 
even-handed, that it should not be a piece of cunning special pleading, and least of 
all, that it should not be abusive and dishonest. If I have a competent antagonist 
to meet, who is a man of probity and character, it is my duty to give him the 
fullest benefit of his position ; and I deserve no thanks for this simple act of 
justice : but if, knowing his character, I seek to traduce him before my audience, 
and to prejudge their minds against him, in order that I may gain a better and more 
acceptable hearing for myself, I am not only a quack but a scoundrel. Far be it 
from me to charge the writer in the Critic with these moral delinquencies, although 
there is much in the statement of his case which has an oblique look with it. He 
shall speak for himself, however. Alluding to the pi-obable causes of what he is 
pleased to call the declining influence of Emerson in this country, he says : ' In 
the first place, his appearance disappointed many ; they did not meet the rapt, 
simple, dreaming enthusiast, of whom they had been dreaming. They met instead, 
a calm, cold friend, down eyed, uncertain-seeming Yankee, whose every step was 
an apology, whose voice seldom seemed to quiver under the access of deep earnest- 
ness, and whose eye at times, even round the rich pea of his eloquence, shot out a 
basilisk glance, which reminded you of your serpent lurking and looking down far 
amid the thick summer of a forest tree. The late David Scott, the painter, was, 
we know, one of the many who were disappointed and shaken by the petty, cring- 
ing, and, on the whole, insincere aspect of Emerson, and his portrait of him is 
even more than usual with him a portrait of what the man should have been, and 
not of what he is.' 

[No. 271.] [No. 12, Vol. XI.] 



Secondly, his lectures were chiefly double entendres. There were alike commis- 
sions and omissions in them, which proved this to a certainty. ' We have seen 
him scanning an audience, ere he resolved which of two lectures he should give. 

We ave heard of him, too, sacrificing to suit an audience, the principle, pith, 

marrow, and meaning of a whole lecture, as if in quoting the words, Thou shalt 
worship the Lord thy God, he had slily, and sat voce, substituted the little word 
not. Nay, even when there was no such concealment, or subtraction, 
there was a game of hide and seek continually going on — a use of scriptural phrases 
in an unscriptural sense, a trimming and turning and terror at the prejudices of 
his audience altogether unworthy of his genius.' 

Such is the preface to the crude and puerile criticism which this writer passes 
upon Emerson ; and it will be confessed by all competent men, whether friends or 
foes, who have heard and seen Emerson, that a grosser libel could not very well 
have been written. Emerson's person is certainly not cast in the most classic 
moulds, nor is there anything very remarkable or prepossessing in his general 
appearance. He is a common-looking Yankee man — tall, fair, calm, and self-pos- 
sessed, with the culture and manners of a gentleman. But his calmness is not ice, 
nor does it spring from a cold, unimpassioned nature, but is partly constitutional, 
and partly the result of a rigid and lofty discipline. To a person like our critical 
friend, who is so evidently inflammable, and who, like all youths of his stamp, 
dwells, and to all appearance will continue to dwell for some time yet to come, in 
what Emerson calls the superlative state, one cannot wonder that Emerson should 
appear tame and frigid ; for he is none of your hale fellows, well-met, cannot drink 
and swear, hut respects himself, and would keep his ' own island inviolate.' From 
personal knowledge of Emerson, I can say that I never met with a fairer or a more 
beautiful soul in any man than in him ; and he has left memories round my hearth- 
stone which will remain there like household gods, so long as I and mine exist. 
His private manners are simple, winning, and fascinating, and he has found a 
home in some of the noblest English hearts, which is the best criterion of his 
worth. The down-look which our friend the critic charges against Emerson, as if 
he were a pickpocket, is not for such as he to comprehend. But I may say, that a 
man whose mind is always occupied with those high concerns, about which our 
critic talks so much, is not likely to be a vulgar gazer j nor can a nervous, sensitive 
man always look a rude and brazen braggart in the face. His averted eye and 
silent demeanour are the best rebuke to such a person. But as for the ' basilisk 
glance,' and the malignant (I think this is the word) figure about the serpent, they 
are false, and few men of any pretensions to literature, to say nothing of Christian 
charity, could have been found in England to utter such uncourteous and disgrace- 
ful words. They are, however, apiece with the rest of this performance. And 
not content with blacking the features of Emerson with his own Stygian brush, he 
must needs call from the tomb the spirit of a great, noble — hearted, and high- 
minded man— David Scott — to bear witness to his skill. Poor Scott ! how he 
would tremble with emotion, and deep indignation, if he could hear such words as 
' petty cringing' and ' insincerity of aspect,' applied to Emerson under the sanc- 
tion of his venerable name. All this story about Scott and Emerson's portrait is 
false. I remember very well at my first, and, alas ! last interview with David Scot'* 
in company with Dr. Samuel Brown of Edinburgh, how generously and aff'ec- 
tionately he spoke of Emerson, after I had been into his studio and seen Emerson's 
portrait. I remember, also, that we spoke about the portrait itself, which, so far 



from being an ideal representation, in the offensive sense which this critic speaks 
of, was a perfect embodiment of the internal and external man, Emerson. Scott 
could not have taken pains to hide the 'insincere aspect' of Emerson, to soften 
down his 'petty fringing,' for if he had- had any idea that these base features were 
any part of Emerson's character, he would never have painted the canvass with 
his portrait. Of all men that I have ever known, Scott was the greatest hater of 
j seeming, and was utterly incapable of fraud. He could neither paint, nor speak, 
nor act lies; and Emerson sat for his portrait at Scott's own request. It is well 
known, too, that Scott did not like portrait painting, and considered it below the 
region of that high art to which he aspired. He is not likely therefore to have 
invited Emerson to sit to him, if he had thought of him as this 
critic states he did. Those who knew Emerson best, loved him most. So 
far from having an ' insincere aspect,' his whole manners and appearance in pri- 
vate life were open and noble. Whosoever could look into the eyes of Emerson, 
and charge him with insincerity, must himself be a very questionable character, 
and I, for one, would not trust him with change for a farthing. The truth is, that 
many persons, like this of the Critic, had looked for an earthly king in the new 
Messiah, and were disappointed, like the gross and sensual Jews, that his person 
was not equal to their expectations. They were ignorant that the spirit is no 
respecter of form, but dwells alike resplendent in Jesus and in Socrates. They 
wanted an Apollo to show in their drinking rooms, as the lion of a season ; and 
because he was but a plain country gentleman, and could not fall in with their 
humour of good fellowship, and talk literary scandal with them, they thought they 
could mar his character by playing the Billingsgate bully against him. 

T am really sorry and pained to use such language as this; but it is true, and I 
believe the occasion calls for it. The charge of double entendres, which follows 
next in the catalogue of this critic's budget of falsehood, would be below notice if 
it were not calculated to do harm where Emerson is not known. That he frequently 
uses old theological terms with new meanings there can be no doubt, but that he 
ever used them with an intention to deceive, or ' pander to the prejudices of his au- 
dience, is not true. No one but a person wilfully blind, could mistake him in this 
respect. These old-fashioned terms hide deep truths, which Emerson recognised, 
althou$;h not in the limited sense which theologians understarul by them ; and he 
showed these theologians that their own terminology had a universal meaning, and 
that he had a right to use it in giving utterance to his thoughts. But if any man 
were deceived by these utterances, it was his own fault; for the bold denial of 
theological dogma which accompanied them, was proof sufficient that Emerson 
was playing no double game. Neither did he ever sacrifice the whole ' pith, prin 
ciple, marrow, and meaning of his discourse to suit his audience ;' but he was a man 
of discernment, and often hesitated which of two lectures he should give, that he 
might give the one best adapted to their capacity ; for he had learned the melan- 
choly truth, that English audiences generally were deficient in culture, and utterly 
unable to appreciate his best discourses. And because he was too wise to throw 
his pearls before hogs, he is set down by this critic as a sneak and a liar ; and I can 
only account for so extraordinary a delusion, by supposing that the said critic sees 
the reflex of his own moral visage in that of Emerson, and mistakes the one for 
the other. So I leave him. 

January Searle. 



A Subscription Edition has been announced of the works of Dr. Lees, col- 
lected, revised, and edited by the author — including some valuable treatises never 
before published, on temperance, dietetics, vegetarianism, national education, 
criticism, and biblical exegesis. All the texts and contexts of Scripture bearing 
on the wine controversy will be chronologically displayed, with various translations, 
ancient, modern, and original, each text illustrated with notes. 

The final arrangements respecting the form, plan, and contents of the works of 
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for their publication should complete their canvass for subscribers. They will 
contain an accurate portrait of the author, engraved by Linton, several illustrative 
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The entire edition will be published, uniform, in three volumes, post octavo, 
neatly and firmly bound and lettered, price to subscribers 16s. This edition will 
be divided into two series — either of which may be ordered separately. Volumes 
1 and 2 will form the first, or 'Temperance,' series — incluiiug the discussions 
and essay on diet, temperance, physiology, and the Scriptural wine question, price 
to subscribers, 10s. 

The second, or Truth-seeJcer, series, containing the philosophical and exe- 
getical essays, and a popular system of logic, or the method, means, and matter of 
argument, will form the third volume, price 6s. Subscribers' copies will be issued 
as early in the summer of 1851 as possible, and be forwarded, carriage free, to all 
the large towns. 

After the subscription list is closed, the three volumes can only be obtained 
together, and the price will be advanced to £1. 

Names of subscribers will be received by the secretary of the publication com- 
mittee, or by any of the following gentlemen : — Mr. Cunlifife, Temperance Hall, 
Bolton; Mr. Newcombe, Temperance Office, Leicester; Mr. Rae, 30, St. Enoch's 
Square, Glasgow; Mr. J. C. Booth, Temperance Missionary, Huddersfield; John 
Guest, Esq., Moorgate, Rotherham; Joseph Cowen, jun., Esq., Blaydon, Newcastle- 
on-Tyne; Frederick Hopwood, Esq., Hull ; Mr. C. Tisdall, jun., 5, Church.Street, 
Kensington, London; Mr. W. Gawthorpe, 52, Princes Street, Manchester; Mr. 
G. J. Holyoake, Reasoner Office. 

The following gentlemen are subscribers, and will permit their names to be 
placed on the committee : — Dr. Gourley, London ; A. Courtney, Esq., Surgeon, 
R.N., Ramsgate ; James Gaskill, Esq., Hulme, Manchester ; William Bradley, 
Esq., Stockport; John Balbirnie, Esq., M.A., M.D., Grafenburg House, Malvern; 
the Rev. Lawrence Panting, M.A., Vicar of Chebsey. 

T. H. Babrek, Secretary. 

Central Committee Office, 52, Princes Street, Manchester. 


Next week Mr. Holyoake will resume his Provincial Reports, continuing with 
Dundee and the visit to the Rev. George GilfiUan's chapel. 

The Lancaster Guardian has inserted all Mr. Holyoake's letters ; and a writer in 
the Lancaster Gazette, who is scandalised that so much public discussion should be 
held on the subject, has himself commenced in that journal ' Letters on Infidelity.' 
Mr. Holyoake will reply to him. 


(SramiivUiaK ai i^t l^rtSi, 

Thb 'Times' and the Taxes on Knowledge. — The Association for the 
Repeal of the Taxes on Knowledge have issued a circular, dated July 28 th, re- 
questing that all petitions for the above object be sent in immediately, as in a few 
days Mr. Milner Gibson will call the attention of the House of Commons to the 
subject. The circular is accompanied by a Report of the Select Committee of 
the House of Commons — very favourable to the repeal of the taxes ; also with a 
reprint from the Times of July 26th, from wliich we extract the following remarks : 
— 'The Select Committee on Newspaper Stamps have delivered themselves of 
their opinion with commendable brevity, plainness, and force. Beginning with a 
review of the law, whether relating to stamps or to transmission of papers by post, 
they notice some singular inconsistencies and ambiguities, sufficiently and pain- 
fully familiar to all who are interested in the press. Their recommendations are 
simple and decisive. They propose to abolish the stamp ; to substitute a postage 
for newspapers and all other printed matter, not exceeding a penny for a weight 
equal to that of the largest existing newspaper ; and to protect the original pub- 
lishers of intelligence with a short privilege of copyright. These recommenda- 
tions are as just to ourselves and otherpurveyorsof intelligence as they are conducive 
to the public convenience. It is a matter of common sense about as undeniable 
as any axiom in science, that the abolition of a very onerous tax must be a benefit 
both to the producer and to the consumer; and our own experience certainly has 

not led us to a different conclusion The committee observes, and it is almost 

a truism, that apart from fiscal considerations, public intelligence can hardly be a 
matter which it is desirable to tax. It would, indeed, be strange if it were. A 
tax on news is nothing more or less than a tax on the use of the eyes and the ears, 
a tax on the employment of the mind, a tax on the improvement of the understand- 
ing, a tax on knowledge, a tax on events,a tax on our social existence, on our common 
interests, and our mutual sympathies. The royal assent has just been given to 
the abolition of a tax on those useful apertures through which we admit the light 
of the sky, the vital air, and the sight of the world around us. What, indeed, 
could be said for a tax which operated as an inducement to sit in the dark, to stop 
ventilation, and to shut out the face of nature and of man ? But only next to that 
is a tax which operates in precisely the same manner on the apertures of the mind. 
Consider how it works. A fearful epidemic invades the country — a man must 
pay a penny for being acquainted with the fact; it approaches his town — another 
penny for that piece of information ; it may be averted by preventives and miti- 
gated by remedies — any accession to his knowledge on these critical points is 
charged a penny more; Her Majesty opens Parliament with a speech containino- 
some important intimations — he is taxed a penny for reading it; a statesman makes a 
speech announcing a great policy — every reader pays his penny for being edified 
thereby ; a colliery accident destroys a hundred men, and scatters misery over the 
land — the colliers of the next parish must pay a penny to profit by the caution ; it 
is a penny to be forewarned of an eclipse, or to have it explained. This of course 
is thoroughly indefensible, except on the old familiar ground, that money must be 
got one way or another. Post nummus virtus. First the Treasury, then public 
improvement. It appears that the tax raises about £350,000 a-yeai-. Whether 
any considerable portion of that could be procured by a penny stamp on such 
papers, and such only, as pass through the post, every time of their transmission^ 
is more than we can venture to say.' 


The London City Mission. — Ogle Street District is probably the most influen- 
tial one in the whole of the metropolis. It is the centre of infidel organisation for 
the kingdom nt large. In most of the cities and towns of our native land where 
infidelity prevails its influence may be distinctly traced. This arises from the 
fact that so many of its inhabitants attend, or are connected with, the John Street 
infidel hall, or 'Literary Institution' as it is called. The well-known infidel 
organisation termed ' The West End London Shoemakers ' make this their place 
of rendezvous. In politics they are Chartists of the Democratic Socialist order, 
and professedly they meet to discuss political questions ; but atheism, deism, or 
scepticism in some of its forms, is usually mixed up with every political debate. 
A Christian's blood well nigh runs cold with horror at the blasphemies which are 
sometimes uttered here. "When the writer visited this place to ascertain how its 
attendants were employed on a Sabbath evening, he found from 200 to 300 indi- 
viduals present. At the doors stood a person with a large supply of cheap 
atheistical, infidel, and democratic publications, for which there was a ready sale. 
The 'service' in this 'infidel chapel ' was commenced -with the aid of the melody 
of a fine-tone i organ, which aided a choir of 12 male and female singers, while 
they sung a hymn to the praises of infidel Socialism. Then followed a lecture 
which, according to the announcement, was on ' Mazzini and the Patriots of Italy,' 
but which, in reality, was only an argument to degrade the Lord Jesus, by atter/ipt- 
ing to prove that such men as Mazzini, Carlile, Tom Paine [such is Christian 
courtesy], and Robert Owen, were quite equal to Him, and were, indeed, ' the 
Christs of the world !' — Ninth Annual Report of the London City Mission. 

The Sceptic Explained. — Belief consists in accepting the affirmations of the 
soul; unbelief in denying them. Some minds are incapable of scepticism. The 
doubts they profess to entertain are rather a civility or accommodation to the 
common discourse of their company. They may well give themselves leave to 
speculate, for they are secure of a return. Once admitted to the heaven of 
thought, they see no relapse into night, but infinite invitation on the other side. 
Heaven is within heaven, and sky over sky, and they are encompassed with 
divinities. Others there are to whom the heaven is brass, and it shuts down to 
the surface of the earth. It is a question of temperament, or of more or less im- 
mersion in nature. The last class must needs have a reflex or parasite faith ; not a 
sight of realities, but an instinctive reliance on the seers and believers of i-ealities. 
The manners and thoughts of believers astonish them, and convince them that 
these have seen something which is hid from themselves. But their sensual habit 
would fix the believer to his last position, while he as inevitably advances; and 
presently the unbeliever, for love of belief, turns the believer. Great believers 
are always reckoned infidels, impracticable, fantastic, atheistic, and really men of 
no account. The spiritualist finds himself driven to express his faith by a series 
of scepticisms. Charitable souls come with their projects, and ask his co-operation. 
How can he hesitate ! It is the rule of mere comity and courtesy to agree where 
you can, and to turn your sentence with something auspicious, and not freezing 
and sinister. But he is forced to say, ' 0, these things will be as they must be; 
what can you do ? These particular griefs and crimes are the foliage and fruit of 
such trees as we see growing. It is vain to complain of the leaf or the berry ; cut 
it off, it will bear another just as bad. You must begin your cure lower down.' 
The generosities of the day prove an intractable element for him. The people's 
questions are not his; their methods are not his; and against all the dictates of 
good nature, he is driven to say, he has no pleasure in them. — Emerson. 



)n ttie ^in at (Satns ta Ct)urc^. 


[Concluded from last number.] 

Formalists and sectarians of every 
description are a drag and incubus on 
the progress of society, and the deca- 
dence of such a church with such up- 
holders is a thing rather to be rejoiced 
in. There are few men with but an 
ordinary share of intelligence and can- 
dour that do not, could they confess it, 
feel half ashamed to countenance by 
their attendance the performance of this 
weekly farce. We may allow that one 
man out of a thousand may justifiably 
be seen attending church. A useful 
lesson may be taught, and many whole- 
some ideas suggested, by witnessing the 
barrenness, formality, and saintly affec- 
tation, characteristic of these Sabbath 
assemblies of so-called Christians. To 
moralise over such a spectacle may be 
productive of good. Yet surely it were 
better that the occasion for such reflec- 
tions were done away with, and that the 
remaining nine hundred and ninety-nine 
betook themselves to manifesting the 
spirit of Christianity in their most in- 
ward thoughts and actions, instead of a 
parrot-like repetition of the sayings of 
its founders. Of their own soul these 
followers of routine are intensely igno- 
rant ; and yet of God they can talk with 
a glibness and flippancy bordering on 
the profane. Now of themselves they 
might know much, and the more they 
do know the. less will be their estimation 
of creeds and dogmas — still less will 
they be disposed to prate and gabble of 
that spirit which now they neither know 
nor feel. 

We have stated that there is not a 
shadow of authority in scripture for this 
observance, and referred inquirers to 
two works recently published which 
appear decisive on this point. It is not 
now our intention, did even space afford, 
to enter into an argument based upon 
dogmas which find with us no acceptance. 
Were we even unable to show that the 
Sabbath was not enjoined by scripture, 
but that the New Testament gave over- 
whelming evidence in its favour, it could 

not alter our position. As embodying 
in many respects the moral obligations 
and religious perceptions of both, the 
Bible must equally command the admi- 
ration and respect of Christian and free- 
thinker. Yet it did not create these 
perceptions, still less can it dictate to or 
supersede them. There can be no 
greater mistake than to imagine, as 
most formalists affect to do, that be- 
cause I reject its supernatural claims, I 
am therefore released from any moral 
obligations. No power whatever can 
break the ties which impel me to strive 
to realise my highest perceptions of 
truth and love. The Bible, with all 
other good books and men, are useful 
and beneficial only in so far as they 
stimulate and provoke the exertion of 
our moral and intellectual faculties. 
We have never yet found those who 
asserted that the Bible has a superna- 
tural power in awakening that inquiry 
and reflection which results in some 
deliberate conviction. Neither if we 
had found any bold enough to do so 
would we believe them, for the state of 
churches and church-goers, together 
with our own consciousness, gives the 
lie to such an assertion. If it has no 
such power, then its claims to superna- 
tural inspiration are a mere * mockery, 
delusion, and a snare.' Clergymen and 
priests insist much upon its power to 
do so if read in a ' proper spirit.' But 
who does not see that this is simply 
begging the question ? There are many 
books of which the same may be said, 
but we have not yet seen such works 
extolled or held up by the clergy as su- 
pernaturally inspired. Neither a peru- 
sal of the scriptures, nor yet a belief in 
their supernatural claims, will infallibly 
confer the * proper spirit.' So far from 
this, the setting forth of such a power 
has a tendency to destroy the principle 
upon which conviction should be based. 
If, unhappily, the reader has but a very 
obtuse perception of moral truth or 
beauty, how does this to him awful claim 



of supernatural inspiration affect Lim ? 
He feels more or less compelled to 
simulate this ' proper spirit,' and does 
so to the best of his ability. It is un- 
necessary to enlarge upon the conse- 
quences of this mental hypocrisy, which, 
dating from the time of Christ himself, 
and slumbering through the dark ages, 
now shows itself so strong in all churches. 
The sin of this hypocrisy is in a similar 
ratio to the mental development of indi- 
viduals and nations. And regai-ding it 
in this light, we see no reason to regret 
the decay of churches and priestly in- 
fluence. The more we realise within 
ourselves the spirit of Christ's teachings, 
the more we shall deprecate the idea of 
referring to it as a manifestation of mi- 
raculous power, or to the writings of 
his apostles as supernaturally inspired. 
Such a dogma, if beneficial under any 
circumstances, is fitted only for those — 
and they are yet too numerous — who 
fear that their moral convictions would 
be weak and unstable without it, and 
who, impelled by this fear, must seek 
some factitious extraneous support. But 
it cannot be a healthy aid whose ten- 
dency is to benumb all power of inde- 
pendent thought. If it is a good thing 
to help a man, it is an infinitely better 
thing to enable him to help himself. It 
is this state of normal enlightenment 
which we would abrogate. We would 
see independent and earnest conviction 
from within take the place of this public 
mock-worship. A prolongation of this 
state of pupilage, however necessary 
and natural in its day, is not now a thing 
to be desired. An infant never out of 
its nurse's arms is in danger of losing 
the use of its limbs. 'In morals it is 
something to gain external right con- 
duct, even if there be as yet no internal 
love of goodness or insight into its na- 
ture. It is a highly valuable result if 
a man avoid falsehood and impurity, 
though he may know no better reason 
than his father's or his priest's com- 
mand. But there is not only no spiri- 
tual object in his worshipping God solely 
because a father or a priest commands 
it, but the very statement is intrinsically 
absurd. That is not worship at all 
which is rendered in obedience to mere 
dictation, for worship is a state ot the 
affections, and these are not under the 
control of the will.'* 

* Newman's 'Soul.' London: Chapman. 

In such a class as is here spoken of 
we may safely rank all church-goers, with 
very few exceptions. These compose 
the limited number who are not mere 
followers of routine, who think they 
have a better motive in going than 
merely in obedience to a priest's com- 
mand, and who might really feel some 
remorse were they to absent themselves. 
Yet even among these doubts will in- 
trude. For ourselves we can say that 
long before we had the slightest mis- 
givings about the sacredness of this 
duty, we have felt how insupportably 
formal and full of pharisaical seeming 
was the whole ceremony. It was only 
by an almost entire self-abstraction we 
could satisfy ourselves that we had in 
the slightest degree performed any re- 
ligious duty. In the early ages matters 
were entirely different. There was then 
a bond of brotherhood between Chris- 
tians, not in name only but in feeling. 
This reality among those who keep up 
the form has long since passed away, 
but the form itself is all the more 
eagerly clung to. Why should intelli- 
gent and sincere men countenance by 
their attendance this piece of empty 
mummery and saintly hypocrisy ? An 
earnest and ingenuous mind can but ill 
deceive itself. Despite the creed in 
which he has been nurtured, strange 
thoughts will suggest themselves in 
church. What fellowship have I with 
the worshippers here assembled, or they 
with me ? Beyond that love which 
prompts me to wish well to all men, 
what real sympathy exists between us 
that should call me hither? We feel 
out of place in such an assembly, and if 
we earnestly examine ourselves we find 
that the admission of the fact involves 
no sin — no emotion of which we are, or 
ought to be, ashamed. We/eel no sym- 
pathy — why then should we do ourselves 
the wrong of affecting any by our cere- 
monial attendance ? Can we not trust 
ourselves ? Are we less lovers of truth 
and justice because we have been brought 
to discern all that is pharisaical and 
absurd in this superstitious mummery ? 
We feel assured that such reflections 
are far from uncommon; and, despite 
our previous training, the suggestion 
will at last force itself upon us, could 
God have commanded a ceremony which 
we find so utterly repugnant to our own 
nature? Minds confident in their own 



purity and integrity will carry out such 
reflections into a rigid inquiry, and 
finally withdraw in disgust from an ob- 
servance so replete with hypocrisy and 
pretension. But superstitious fears 
overawe the timid — they have not the 
courage to inquire. It is a deeper source 
of regret, however, if we come to believe, 
as many now do, that the great mnjority 
have not the honesty to do so. No law, 
human or divine, requires us to hold 
any terms with cant and affectation. 
The days have gone by in which the 
prosecution of freethinkers for their 
opinions could be safely indulged. The 
clergy and laity generally have learnt 
caution from repeated failure, and now 
shun any encounter. From attacking 
others they have come to be attacked. 
Emerson somewhere observes, that 
when the docti'ine of love pules and 
whines, the doctrine of hatred should be 
preached. It is time that those who 
think so should preach it — the commu- 
nity are sure to be the gainers. A ten- 
der regard for the convictions of others 
is very estimable — we do not undervalue 
it. To have any worth, however, it 
must be sincere — overstrained, this 
feeling easily degenerates into formality 
and indifferentism. Why should we 
stickle much in our choice of words ? 
Any one who examines the numerous 
writings, lay and clerical, against free- 
thinkers, must acknowledge that they 
have never done so. Neither for this 
do we blame them. They abused and 
villified opinions which it is to be hoped 
they really imagined were deserving of 
it. We have then no right to complain, 
more especially as they became, in spite 
of themselves, fellow-workers in the 
same cause. Their defence of what is 
indefensible has provoked inquiry, and 
we wish no more. Both may be earnest, 
but those convictions only claim our 
esteem which appear as resulting from 
the highest intelligence. 

To those who have examined the state 
of the church, it is sufficiently evident 
that this observance has long been on 
the decline. Votaries of custom, for- 
malists, hypocrites, and parish schools, 
are now its principal supporters. With 
some, habit has sanctified the ceremony, 
until it has become a second nature. 
Any inquiry into its pi-opriety they 
would look upon as impious. Sunday 
after Sunday they joui-ney hither, not to 

have their souls really awakened, or 
their sympathies kindled towards their 
fellow-men, but to maintain an appear- 
ance of piety and respectability which 
deceives no one. Yet some there are, 
we know, who would flatter themselves 
that in so doing they are commendable 
as setting a good example I 

The Sabbath must be regarded by its 
upholders as a special dispensation of 
Providence, vouchsafed to meet the pe- 
culiar exigenciesof these would-be saints. 
Hypocrisy in religion could hardly 
maintain its ground without it ; and 
they must undoubtedly feel that, how- 
ever lightly we can afford to regard it, 
it is all the world to them. What an 
edifying commentary on the phrase, 
' religion in the soul,' does the conduct 
of such Pharisees suggest! We read of 
Christ scourging the money-changers, 
and clearing them out of the temple; 
but what is this to the herculean labour 
which would now await his second ad- 
vent ! 

We deem the time to have come when 
all true men, all who feel aught of the 
spirit of Christianity, should expose the 
rottenness of this farce which is weekly 
enacted before the eyes of an awakening 
and inquiring public. Sabbath obser- 
vance has not the slightest claim to our 
sympathy or respect. As a criterion of 
religious feeling or sincerity it is worse 
than valueless. We would sooner be- 
lieve a man to be honest and sincere in 
his convictions who, upon principle, re- 
fused to countenance this cei-emony, 
than we would credit a man with the 
same qualities because he did so. They 
follow it on purely business grounds. 
The fashion is a ' respectable ' one, by 
which they hope to acquire among a 
certain class some sort of reputation for 
religion, and they look upon it as essen- 
tially necessary to their ' status ' in so- 
ciety to attend some Christian place of 
■worship. With such specious, sordid 
motives existing for their attendance, it 
were unwise to expect much honesty or 
sincerity of opinion in the characters of 
those attending. What wonder if an 
earnest mind feels out of place in church ! 
A pious Christian he may be, and one 
who is not ashamed of the spirit of the 
gospel of Christ ; but there is no deny- 
ing the fact that he does feel ashamed 
of the pertinacious obstinacy with which 
the sample he there meets cling to the 



letter and neglect the spirit. Founded, 
as this practice now is, on a cold, selfish, 
and worldly prudence, its estimation by 
spiritual and earnest minds is becoming 
every day more equivocal. Sabbatarians 
talk much of infidelity, atheism, etc., 
and are not sparing in their abuse of 
those who would see this ceremonious 
farce done away with. But there is no 
infidelity equal to their own in daring 
to couple the name of God with such a 
mockery. Religion in such hands is 
the direst form of infidelity now preva- 
lent. They would exalt all forms to the 
detriment of the soul. They blaspheme 
against the spirit of man. They look 
upon its suggestions with distrust and 
suspicion. The tendency of their ritual 
and dogmas is to crush it — and yet it is 
such dry-as-dust anatomies as these who 
would have us think them competent to 
set a good example ! 

Sharp and powerful stimulants are 
required to arouse men sunk in spi- 
ritual lethargy. There can be no greater 
mistake than to suppose that your or- 
thodox church-goer is easily stirred. 
Earnestness ov enthusiasm is no part of 
his character. It is our duty to provoke 
by unsparing argument and ridicule, 
that antagonism which will excite atten- 
tion, and give rise to inquiry. They no 
longer deceive intelligent men : let us 
render it impossible that they can de- 
ceive themselves. The best and only 
example a man can show, must be evi- 
denced in his every day lite and conver- 
sation. No other example is worth fol- 
lowing, and no other would benefit me. 
With such an example, church-guing 
has not the smallest concern. Its influ- 
ence is directly antagonistic to it. If 
church-goers are guilty, priests are no 
less so. Their teachings lack life, as 
they themselves do faith. ' The test of 
the true faith should certainly be it8 
power to charm and command the soul, 

as the laws of nature control the acti- 
vity of the hands, so commanding that 
we should find pleasure and honour in 
obeying. The faith should blend with 
the light of rising and setting suns, 
with the flying cloud, the singing, fo 
birds and the breath of flowers. Bat 
now the priest's sabbath has lost the 
splendour of nature. We are glad when 
it is done. We can make, we do make, 
even sitting in our pews, a far better, 
holier, sweeter for ourselves.' 

The growing contempt and indiflie- 
rence for all church forms is only natu- 
ral. Uver intelligent minds the priest 
has lost all shadow of control. We 
know all that he will say — we may even 
believe that part of what he says is true. 
One slight defect exists which, with all 
our charity, we cannot overcome. It 
seems impossible to us that he himself 
can do so. ' The highest truth, if pro- 
fessed by one who believes it not in his 
heart, is to him a Zt'e, and he sins greatly 
by professing it.'* Such lifeless mum- 
meries are slowly but surely working 
their own cure in the increasing disgust 
and aversion with which they affect us. 
We dislike their pretensions to divine 
teaching. We recognise more true di- 
vinity in the every-day world around 
us, and amongmen of no sectarian creed. 

These priests are behind the age, 
which has discarded them. The church 
is attacked from within and without by 
Christians and unbelievers. Only by 
the outspoken sincerity of earnest minds 
can the upholders of such a system ever 
be made to see the error of their ways. 
To churchmen and church-goers, there- 
fore, these remarks are addressed ; and 
that the perusal may profit them is the 
earnest desire of their friend and well- 

• Arnold's ' Christian Life.' 


Our platform. 

From nrbich anv earnest opponent may controvert our opinions, and from which any may expound riews 
not coincident with our own, ii tending to the Rationalisation of Theolegy. 


Sir, — It is only by the sayings, teachings, and actions of Christ, we conceive, 
that he should be judged; and we have, in the article 'Aspects and Expedients of 
Christianity,' endeavoured to give the moral objections to Christianity. Goodness 
and virtue are quite irrespective of Jesus ; therefore, we cannot destroy those 
qualities by any objection to him. "We are they who endeavour to save goodness 
and virtue from the adulteration which takes place in their admixture with Chris- 
tianity. We wish people would believe in goodness and virtue, would take them 
up and follow them, rather than take up the cross and follow Jesus. 

The sayings, teachings, and actions of Christ are about devils, hell-fire, and a 
God dooming the vast majority of his creatures to eternal torment. Mr. Norring- 
ton has not told us what his belief in Christ is. At first Mr. Norrington seems 
to stick to the sayings, teachings, and actions of Christ. But in the fourth para- 
graph, we are told Jesus only left behind him an influence and spirit. When you 
come to the spirit of a thing, there is an end of all argument. Each man takes 
the spirit to be what he likes ? If we are not to judge Christianity by the letter, 
what are we to judge it by. Mr. Norrington at first seems to accuse us of not 
judging it by the letter, and then he tells us we are not to judge it by the letter. 
W e cannot make out whether he admits the gospels to be a proper report of Jesus. 
If they are not, we are to be guided by the spirit of Mr. Norrington, or what he or 
any other chooses to lay down as the spirit of Christianity. In fact we should have 
a host of spirits, and no realities, to combat. Jesus is as explicit as possible in ' I 
come not to send peace, but the sword,' and he follows it by a discourse all to the 
same purpose. We say, if such were to be the efi'ects of his doctrines, he was the 
cause of them, and better have never come into the world for such an object. Mr, 
Norrington admits these were the efi'ects of his doctrines. We should say with 
such a prospect before him, Jesus, if he had been a good man, should have imme- 
diately desisted from preaching his doctrines. In fact, if any such mischief were 
the result of any man's preaching, had he any sensibility he would die of despair. 
We completely ignore Mr. Norrington's historical fact, that the promulgation of 
good sets people together by the ears. We never heard people fought about the 
ten commandments or any book of morality, or moral philosophy, or laws enacted 
against crimes. People are enraged when any one comes and tells them doubtful 
things ; and this, we say, was the preaching of Jesus. Their moral feelings were 
outraged when sons were told to forsake their fathers, and all other family relations 
were to be broken, merely to follow him. Deep religious scruples must have been 
shocked by being called upon to follow the son of a carpenter as a god. Any 
man's feelings might be violated, if any stranger came into his family and per- 
suaded any members of it, wife or children, that they were to worship him, or 
some other man in whose behalf he was preaching, and that the said wife and chil- 
dren were to leave their home or afi'ections. He would equally be alarmed and 
opposed to it, if such teaching was taken in the sense, as Christ's kingdom was by 
the disciples, that Christ was immediately to rule over the earth, and the family in 
question were to join in any political enterprise of the sort. Why cannot Mr. 
Norrington worship virtue and goodness, instead of Jesus, as the personification of 
them ? It is perhaps unfair to ask us to judge of the Bible and Christ in the same 


impartial manner, that we form opinions of other documents and characters. 
Everybody is offended when we attempt it. We do not know what Grecian or 
Roman history Mr. Norrington has read, to think that Jesus should be classed 
equal to their heroes. He should read Newman's ' Phases of Faith,' and learn to 
judge the character of Jesus with more freedom and more truth. 



Sir, — I read an article in your paper of the 9th of July on ' Advice to those who 
go to Church against their will.' Your advice on that subject (in my opinion) is 
good, and should you deem the following statement of any further benefit, you are 
at liberty to make what use of it you think proper. 

Having been born a member of the Society of Friends, and brought up in their 
faith and worship, I was, while young, under the necessity of attending their place 
of worship (or church); and, as early impressions are very powerful, I was led to 
believe that it was my duty to my God to continue in that path. When I came to 
manhood I was satisfied, in my own mind, that it was my duty, therefore I con- 
tinued in it: a sense of duty compelled me to continue, and many were the 
sacrifices I made to be regular in my attendance at their places of worship, and 
few were more regular. But I now often look back with sorrow and regret at 
the time that was spent in that way which might have been spent much more use- 
fully. Yet I continued until about forty-five years of age ; it was then too late to 
make up for time lost. About this time a friend informed me of a lecture that 
was to be delivered in this town (Derby) by a Social Missionary, Henry Layland 
Knight (brother-in-law to Lloyd Jones). I went to hear him, and offered a little 
opposition; after that L. Jones lectured here, and, not being disposed to condemn 
any one unheard, I went to his lecture, which made some impression on me. 
After him came R. Buchanan, who delivered a course which I attended, and was 
further convinced. The principles advocated at these lectures were then spoken 
of as diabolical. Hearing such dreadful accounts concerning them, I was induced to 
examine for myself. I got the New Moral World and read it, got acquainted with a 
few Socialists, and the more I examined these matters the more I was convinced 
of their truth. After R. Buchanan's lecture, J. Brindley (our old friend, where 
is he now ?) made his appearance on the platform — this brought on the four 
nights' discussion between him and L. Joues. Committees were appointed on 
both sides. One of the Socialist Committee could not attend, and I was asked to 
take his place, to which I consented. This was previous to my being publicly 
known as a Socialist. I will leave the reader to judge of the surprise shown by 
the orthodox, and particularly the Society of Friends, many of whom were present, 
when I first made my appearance in public as one of L. Jones's Committee. But 
there I was for four nights — this was certainly coming out rather boldly; however, 
I can now say that I never repented. This led to my being disowned by the 
Society of Friends. At that time 1 was carrying on a small business, and it is 
possible that some few might have been prevented trading, but I cannot point out 
any one case. I will not pretend to say that it would be wise for every one to act 
in the way I did, but as a general rule I think it advisable. But any one acting 
so must be doubly careful in his conduct and conversation. For what would be 
overlooked in one of the orthodox, would be considered as the fruit of Socialism. 


It is said in the Bible in effect ' seek first the kingdom of God and his righteoas- 
ness, and all things necessary shall be added unto you.' Bat this is not true. 
After trying it for so many years these things were not added ; but, on the con- 
trary, when I left off attending places of worship, and gave up praying (which I 
had sincerely practised), these necessai-y things began to be added, and have con- 
tinued to increase. 

It is clear that the Christian God did not punish me ; and it is as clear to me 
now, that he had nothing to do in the matter, even if there is such a being. Had 
it been my lot to have made greater sacrifices, I should now feel well paid in the 
peace of mind, comfort, and happiness that I am now in possession of, which I 
was a stranger to in years past and gone ; and if they could return, and it was at 
my option, I would not, no, not for the world, pass those times over again. 

Derby. B. Hagen. 

[Readers who know bow often we have been indebted to the generous enthusiasm 
of our correspondent for aiding the circulation of our works in Derby, will read 
with pleasure this manly letter, Hervey (if I remember rightly) said he had no 
hope of people above forty years of age ever coming to believe in the circulation 
of the blood, and that no instance occurred in his lifetime of any medical man 
above that age coming to his conclusions. Had Mr. Hagen lived in Hervey's 
days, he would have been encouraged by one disciple above that conservative age. 


Sir,— The following scene, which reflects disgrace upon the administration of jus- 
tice, recently took place at the Thames Police Court. Two women of abandoned 
character were placed at the bar, charged with robbing a negro seaman, belonging 
to an American ship, of a coat. After the prosecutor was sworn in the usual form, 
Mr. Yardley, the Magistrate, suddenly asked him, ' Of what religion are you — are 
you a Christian ?' ' No, I am not a Christian; I follow the sea.' ' Do you profess 
no religion, then?' asked the Magistrate. God's image carved in ebony only 
stared in bewilderment at the question. ' Do you never go to church ?' * Yes ; 
sometimes I go to church, in New York.' * What do you go for ?' ' I go to see 
the people .' * Is that all you gc for ? Do you hear what is said V ' Yes.' 
' Well, what do you hear ?' ' I hear the man talk to the people.' 'And what you 
hear makes no impression on you ?' Another stare of bewilderment was the only 
reply. The Magistrate looked puzzled for a moment, and again addressed the 
wondering negro : ' Then you have no religious belief whatever?' The negro 
looked as if wondering what disorder the Magistrate was alluding to ; and shook 
his head, ' Then I cannot take your oath. The women are discharged. Stay, 
who does the coat belong to ?' ' To the prosecutor, your worship,' said the officer. 
'Then give it to him.' The women stepped laughing from the bar; of course 
impressed with the value of religious belief. 

As nearly as my memory serves, the above was the conversation ; but I vouch 
for its being the substance of what passed. As the parties left the Court the 
Magistrate smiled as if at his own wondrous sagacity. Had the man been in- 
terrogated on his notions of truth in relation to judicial investigation, the ends of 
justice would have been better served than by this ridiculous exhibition. 

M. A. L. 



Many works have been recently published upon the Hungarian war of self-defence, 
but none of them have tbi-own any light upon the sanguinary events of our ancient 
history, from 1527, under the government of the house of Habsburg, which serve 
to explain the present. 

The illustrious patriots, Bethlen, Botskay, Tcikoly, Francis, and George Rkkoczy 
have waged many a war,and fought battles, in order to secure political and religions 

No author has undertaken to set forth the relations of Hungary to the amal- 
gamated provinces of Austria. Hence the impossibility of obtaining a clear in- 
sight into the sanctity of our outraged rights. The public know only the glory 
of our hard-fought battles, and sad downfall of our country's cause. The Magyar 
fought like the lioness: he fought for self-defence, and not for revolution; yet he 
was accused by the followers of the house of Habsburg of high treason, and he 
met with the mercy which wild beasts show their prey. The Magyar fought and 
bled, not for new and immature ideas, nor for exclusive privileges, but in a holy 
struggle against the house of Habsburg seeking to trample under foot the rights 
of the nation, and to annihilate the constitution of a thousand years, derived from 
the ancient dynasty of Arpad. The Magyar protested against the imposition of 
an absolute government. He defied tyranny, and sacrificed for tyranny and the 
common weal 80.000 of the noblest children of the soil. 

The soul of my assassinated country summons me, the innocent blood of many 
thousand of my brethren cries to me from the grass upon their graves, and calls 
upon me to enlighten the world, and all true friends of a free people, on the cause 
of their death. In the appendix will be found a narrative of the adventures of 
Kossuth after his retreat into Turkey. This duty I have endeavoured to fulfil in 
my work. 

The fate of my unhappy fatherland ought to be a warning and a lesson to all 
free people unremittingly to defend their rights, and to struggle for every handful 
of their native soil against tyranny and despotism, which merit to be hated by 
every upright man. S. Szeeedy. 

[All able to promote this undertaking by obtaining subscribers, are solicited to 
send the list of subscriptions, early in August, to Mr. Thornton Hunt, at the 
office of the Leader, 10, Wellington-street, Strand, London, or to the editor of the 
Reasoner. The price of the work to subscribers will be 3s. A list lies at our 
publisher's. — Ed.] 


(copy of a placard fkom that town.) 
Newcastle abounds with persons who have not only been educated, but are well 
paid for teachino and defending Christianity. At present, through the meeting 
of the Wesleyan Conference in our town, this class of persons are more numerous 
than usual. We have assembled amongst us the flower of the Methodist Church. 
It is customary for these ministers of the gospel, both in this and other towns, to 
make their pulpits ring with denunciations of unbelievers and of their principles, 
while, at the same time, they are well aware that the rules of their churches de- 
prive their opponents, under the penalties of the law, from either offering reply or 



explanation. Such being the case, I beg to inform these gentlemen that a farour- 
able opportunity nov presents itself tor them to hear their religion called in 
question, and their arguments refuted. On Monday evening George Jacob 
Holyoake, editor of the Reasoner, defended atheism before a large audience. To- 
night he will show that ' Catholicism,' which Protestants so much oppose, ' is the 
actual type of the churches around ns.' Hundreds of the working classes attend 
these lectures, and listen with pleasure to the st.itemeuts put forth. The 
consequences are, that some are confounded, and many convinced. I seriously ask 
these Wesleyan ministers whether it would not be much better, under such cir- 
cumstances, for them to come forth and show the hoUowness of their opponents' 
principles, and the soundness of their own ? If they believe they have the truth, 
what occasion have they to shun investigation ? Is not controversy one of the 
great means by which we elicit truth ? Have we not the right to suspect the 
sincerity of those who, having the ability and opportunity of discussing their 
principles, yet strive all they can to avoid it ? Let them, then, come forward at 
once. Mr. Holyoake will not act as Mr. Charles Larkin recently acted in the 
Lecture Room, while opposing atheism — will not deprive his audience of the 
liberty of interrogation. Not only will he answer all relevant questions, but he 
i will gladly allow discussion, especially If it be conducted in a spirit of fairness, 
andwith a sincere desire to obtain truth. 
Newcastle, Wednesday, July 30th, 1851. 

A Townsman. 


Literary Institution, John Street. Fitzroy Square. 
— August 10th [7i], Samuel K\dd, 'Relative 
Value of Agriculture and Manufactures.' — 12th 
[8ij, Ui«cussion in the Coffee Room. Question, 
' The Respective ilerits of Free Trade and Pro- 

Hall of Science, City Road.— August 10th [ri], 
• lecture. 

National Hall, 242, High Holborn.— Aug. 10th, 
[8], P. W. Perfitt will lecture. 

Eclectic Institute, Denmark Street, Soho. — 
Every Friday [8J], Mr. J. B. O'Brien, ' Home and 
Foreign Politics.' Every Sunday [ril, on ' Moral 
and Social Science.' 

Areopagus Cotfee and Reading Room, 59, Church 
i Lane, Uhitechapel. — Every Sunday, Monday, and 
Wednesday (S), a Lecture or Discussion. 

City Forum Coffee House, 6o, Red Cross Street. 
— Every Sunday, Monday, and Thursday [8^], a 

Commercial HaU, Philpot Street, Commercial 
Road East. — Every Tuesday and Thursday even- 
ing [8], a Discussion- 
City Road Discussion Society, 22, City Boad. — 
D'scussion every Wednesday evening. Subject, 
' Is there a Natural Reli gion V 



Theodore Parker on Matters Pertaining to 
Religion. 1 vol. cloth boards I 9 

Cooper's Purgatory of Suicides. 1 vol. 

cloth lettered 3 6 

To be had in Parts and Numbers. 
Cooper's Wise Saws and Modem Instances. 

2 vols, cloth lettered 5 

Cooper's Baron's Yuie Feast. Wrapper.. 1 6 
Cooper's Eiaht Letters to the Young Men 

of the Working Classes 6 

Cooper's Journal. 1 vol. cloth 3 

Do. Captain Cobler, or the Lincolnshire 

Insurrection. 1 vol 2 6 

Cerebral Phvsioloev and Materialism. Bv 

W. C. EngledueV-M.D '. o 4 

Doubts of Infidels o 3 

Paine's Political Works. 2 vols, in one.. 5 

— Theological Works. 1 vol. cloth. .. . 3 

— Rights of Man 1 3 

— American Crisis 1 6 

— Common Sense 6 

— Letter to the .4bbe Raynal 6 

— Letters to the Citizens of the United 
States Q 4 

— Public Good 4 

— Agrarian Justice 2 

— First Principles of Government .... 2 

— English System of Finance 3 

— Abolition ol Royalty 3 

life of Paine, by W. J. Linton 6 

Portrait of Paine, engraved on Steel 1 

The English Republic, edited by W. J. 

Linton. Nos. 1 to ", each at 6 

Byron's Vision of Judgment 3 

Southey's Wat Tyler .T 2 

Essay on the Functions of the Brain 2 

London : James Watson, 3, Queen's Head Pas 
sage. Paternoster -row. 

WoKKiNG Men a>d Shopkbbpkbs! 

If you wish to learn the true causes of the Distress 

of Labour and of the Misdirection of Trade, 



Publishing every Saturday, 
Containing 40 columns of close phot, besides wrap- 
per, for Two Pexcb, 
Of the Middle Temple, Barrister at-Law. 
Published by R. Paver, 47, Holywell St., Strand, 
London ; and to be had through the Booksellers. 


In a reply to Dr. Watts, of Manchester, the Leeds Mercury (we believe it is) has 
the following editorial paragraph : — ' When it appears that persons holding views 
like those of Robert Owen, which are in the strongest possible opposition to 
Christianity — that Mr, Holyoake, the zealous apostle of atheism — that Mr. W. J. 
Fox, M.P., whose recent work avows the doctrines of pantheism, are all combined 
to advocate a system of education professing to exclude religion — is it not fair, 
nay, is it not strictly necessary, to conclude, that the schools thus commenced 
must really and dbsoluUly exclude religion, and that they may even be taught by 
the most determined infidels? If this is not a fair and a necessary conclusion, we 
must suppose these gentlemen to be recommending a system which would exclude 
themselves P 

* A few Sabbaths since,' writes a correspondent from Rondout, on the Hudson, 
'our minister was impressing upon his hearers the duty of a greater regard for the 
services of the day of thanksgiving, set apart by the governor, and was informing 
them that on that day he would preach a sermon at that place, and he wished them 
all to attend, to render in a proper manner acknowledgments fo"r the many benefits 
of health, bountiful harvests, &c. Here a little wiry man in a blue coat, with 
metallic buttons, and a very elevated collar, popped up from his seat, and squeaked 
out: "Dominie, I wish you would give the tater rot a leetle tech in that sarmon o' 
your'n. It's been dreadful bad with us." ' — American Leader (a newspaper imita- 
tion of the English Leader). 

A Sheffield correspondent (Mr. Buck) informs us that the * Last Trial by Jury 
for Atheism ' has been admitted, with a little opposition, into the library of the 
Young Men's Association, Likewise, that the placard relating to the above work 
has been posted on the walls of Sheffield. 

Mr. Newton, of Stockport, who does not send his address, may obtain our pub- 
lished works by application to any of the Stockport news-vendors. The Lancaster 
Letters are printed in the Reasoner, Nos. 9, 10, and 11, Vol, XI, 

A monk of the order of St. Augustin, in a sermon addressed to the wealthy, and 
published at Padua in 1675, says the following good thing for the monks of another 
order : — * Treasures do not perish when they are put into the bags of the poor. 
Franciscans ! on the contrary, they are kept, they are preserved, they are ren- 
dered immortal.' 

Mr, Fox informs us, that on Sunday, the 20th instant, the poem entitled * Bel- 
dagon Church,' by Ernest Jones, recently quoted in the Reasoner, was read by a 
minister of the gospel to a large congregation assembled on Kennington Common. 

An article in Household Words, of June the 28th, entitled ' A few Convention- 
alities,' opens with this rich morsel : — ' A child inquired of us, the other day, why 
a gentleman always said his first prayer in church, in the crown of his hat ? We 
were reduced to the ignominious necessity of replying that we didn't know — but it 
was the custom.' We do not think the answer can be improved. 

The Tablet has stated that Dr. Paul CuUen, late of the editorial staff conducting 
a Roman ' Review,' in which the Copernican system was denounced on scientific 
and also on distinctly religious grounds, now repudiates the responsibility of 
that article, and gives his full adhesion to the planetary system in vogue. 

London : Printed by Holyoake Brothers, 3, Queen's Head Passage, Paternoster-row; and Published 
by J. Watson, 3, Queen's Head Passage, Paternoster-row. — Wednesday, August 6th, 1851. 



They who believe that they have Truth ask no favour, save that of being heard: they dare the 
judgment of Mankind : refused Co-operation, they invoke Opposition, for Opposition is their 
Opportunity. — Editor. 


It was told to me that great disappointment existed in Dundee on account of my 
never having answered specially the charges brought against me by Mr. Robert 
Buchanan and Mr. Lloyd Jones, in the last number of the Spirit of the Age. Since 
then time has disproved many of the allegations for me, and quite to the satisfaction 
of the critics of this district. The other allegations were mostly founded in error, 
and were such that, could they have been established, they would have been at the 
time the Spirit of the Age ceased, when it was of much more importance for the 
party who preferred them so late, to have preferred them then. Out of respect to 
those to whom, on some grounds, my explanations were due, T must say that they 
lose sight of the true ground of personal controversy who expect it to be pursued 
for individual gratification. The only ground on which personal discussions can 
be justified, is that of vindicating or establishing some public principle, and when 
that public principle is established or vindicated, to occupy public attention any 
farther on the matter is a misuse of the privilege of controversy, and open to the 
imputation of proceeding from vanity, egotism, querelousness, or disappointment. 
The letters of Messrs. Jones and Buchanan were occasioned by a Reasoner Tract, 
written against the opposition offered by the Weekly Tribune to the Leader news- 
paper. But when that opposition had ceased, and the Weekly Tribune was with- 
drawn, it would have been simply bad taste to have added another word. Mr. 
Buchanan and Mr. Jones had a perfect right to offer any justification they pleased 
of themselves, and even to retaliate upon me if they saw fit, but that was no reason 
for my pursuing a controversy on private grounds when the public end was 
accomplished for which it was commenced. 

In the same manner some few persons have mistaken our silence respecting 
Parson Lot's article in the Christian Socialist. It certainly was a great temptation 
to enter into controversy with him and the party whom he defended. His repu- 
tation, his ability, Kis candour, his eloquence, and the character of the coadjutors 
who accept him as their leader, would make controversy with him an honour as 
well as a pleasure. More than this, the points he urged seemed written on pur- 
pose for us to refute ; but we were again warned that the sole end of public con- 
troversy is not private gratification or party victory, but the public good. In this 
case the public might regard it as a scandal that two societies, having the same 
social end in view, should appear as the opponents of each other. Much as we 
love controversy, and indeed seek opposition as our opportunity, we must ever 
observe a healthy rule in its indulgence, and avoid it wherever it may be misunder- 
stood. When opportunity shall offer, free from ambiguity, we shall not be slow 
to embrace it. 

The placard issued in Dundee began by saying, ' Lectures by Q. J. Holyoake, of 
London, editor of the Reasoner,' and then that ' the Freethinkers of Dundee had 


[No. 272] [No. 13, Vol. XI.] 



invited Mr. Holyoake to deliver a course of lectures on the subjects ' (named). At 
the bottom of the bill, instead of saying ' Discussion was invited' — a form of ex- 
pression which gives to some the notion of vaunt or challenge — they employed 
these words : ' At the close of the lectures time will be allowed for any reverend 
gentleman to controvert the lecturer's statements.' Circulars were sent to forty 
resident ministers — neither was this in the form of a challenge, but was expressed 
in the manner of information given. Thus : ' Rev. Sir, — The author of the en- 
closed pamphlet [the ' Logic of Death '] is about to visit Dundee, to deliver lectures 
in advocacy of the views maintained in these pages. The Freethinkers in town 
hope you will attend and reply to any of his statements which you may consider 
erroneous. The dates and subjects will be duly announced by advertisement.— 
David Gardener, Bookseller, Seagate.' 

The style of a placard, when you first appear in a strange town, is important — 
it is the letter of recommendation by which the public judge you. A well printed 
bill, simply and clearly stated — well set out by the printer, is the safest as well as 
the most effective. In one town where the Hall applied for by my friends had 
been refused, a notice of the fact, mentioning the name of the proprietor in an 
unpleasant manner, was appended to the bottom of the bill. It was exceedingly 
disagreeable to me to disown what had been done by friends who had served me, 
and it was disagreeable to be supposed that I, a stranger, took upon myself to assail 
a gentleman utterly unknown to him, because he had not seen fit to let the stranger 
his Hall. 

Those religionists who have the art of making religion disagreeable abound in 
Scotland, where they practice that art with much address. The farther you pene- 
trate into the interior, the more oppressive the atmosphere of piety becomes. On 
my first Sunday in Dundee, I stepped into a coffee house — the tables were loaded 
with books. 'Ah !' the reader exclaims,* then there was some light, entertaining 
literature to relieve the Sabbath intervals between porridge and preaching.' Not 
so fast, good reader. I found every volume to be an Evangelical Magazine, 
warranted not to contain a joke in fifty years. Hearing there was an accessible 
news-room, I rushed in search of it, and found luckily that the door had been left 
unlocked while the attendant had gone to the kirk. But I fared no better there. 
Of Scotch newspapers, there were plenty, but is there a more solemn thing on 
earth than a Scotch newspaper ? They seem all to be edited by a minister, or by 
somebody who is afraid of the minister. My eye falling on two Scotch reviews, 
here, thought I, there will be at least something critical, though it may be heavy; 
but, alas ! they too were religious reviews, in which every critic seemed to be also 
a minister, and to review nothing but religious books, which he infallibly con- 
sidered the best of possible performances. All ministers in Scotland must be 
clever, for whatever they do or don't do seems alike excellent beyond any English 
measure. As nothing could be made of the news room I tried the windows ; but 
not a vessel moved on the Tay, or a vehicle through the street. Yes, there was 
one — a hearse ; from which I learned that a Scotchman dead enjoyed the privilege 
of a one-horse chaise on a Sunday— denied to the living, who would no doubt much 
better enjoy it. 

It was a privilege to me go to Dundee, as it afforded me the opportunity of 
hearing the Rev. George GilfiUan preach — an opportunity I did not fail to 
embrace. At any time I would go a journey to hear a minister preach who has 
admitted Emerson to his pulpit, which Gilfillau did, for Emerson lectured in his 
chapel when in Dundee. But, in this instance, curiosity to hear Gilfillau himself, 


for his own sake, was to ine a great attraction. He appeared taller in the pulpit 
than on the platform in Exeter Hall. His personal appearance is much in his 
favour when in his gown. He looked to me like what I supposed Samuel to have 
looked, when a young man. I have heard nothing like his preaching sin.-e I hesrd 
Ebenezer Elliot make speeches to the Scribes and Pharisees of the Slieffis-d 
Mechanics' Institution. But Elliot had the fire of the prophet and the sublimity 
too; Gilfillan has certainly intervals of inspiration, but they are varied and marred 
by a pronunciation that would be fatal to any order of advocacy to which men 
show less indulgence than they do to religious advocacy. There were passages in 
his sermon, which, if one might take the liberty he takes in his Portrait Galleries, 
one should describe as a cross between a railway whistle and the sailors' whoop, 
when that vociferous fraternity turn the capstan in concert. Anxious as I was to 
hear all, there was much that I could not possibly make out, and some of the con- 
gregation owned to me to experiencing equal difficulty. 

The text he took, which at this distance of time I cannot quote, was one from 
which he proposed to preach three sermons, turning upon three propositions — 
1. O/GoA. 2. By God. 3. To God. Certainly the Scriptures will not soon be 
exhausted, if this mode of preaching from them becomes universal. The chapel 
has a pleasant aspect in the interior. A dome in the centre, painted of the unholy 
colour of light blue, reflects a mild and not at all a * dim religious ' light over the 
gathering. The majority of the gallery occupants were young people, who looked 
remarkably cheerful for miserable sinners.' Some of the lasses wore cerulean 
veils, and their fair faces and bright eyes, full of innocence and purity, were 
enough to make an observer disbelieve in original sin for a month. But the place 
was a striking illustration how much a little science would improve Dundee divi- 
nity. The day was hot and every window was closed, and not a ventilator to be 
seen or felt anywhere. Many seemed distressed before the close, and short coughs 
from weak lungs began to be heard. I suppose the poor creatures took it for 
spiritualisation — me it oppressed as a disagreeable and injurious animalisation, 
such as the sanitary reformers are now happily banishing from tailors' workshops, 
and even courts and alleys. Some told me that the morning sermon related to us. 
The one I heard seemed to be directed at us. The reverend preacher quoted a 
modern infidel writer, but 1 could not guess who, nor did I ever meet with what 
was quoted from him. I went to hear what 1 had to contend against in Dundee, 
and I came away comforted. The discourse was at us, and about us, and heddx us, 
and around and over and under us, but never seemed to touch us. While this sort 
of preaching continues we shall be safe enough. It neither reaches those with us, 
nor instructs nor arms those against us, and we may go on explaining our case in 
peace — not being even called upon for a defence, by the way. Our course is yet 
onward without digression. The enemy shows no front of battle. Let us take 
care that we improve the season of peace, which will not last for ever. 
Another notice will complete the memorandums of Dundee. 



The want of an English translation of Gall's ' Physiology of the Brain ' has long 
been keenly felt by British Phrenologists. We can hardly doubt that, had this 
work been rendered available to the English reader at the period of its publication 
in France, it would long since have been generally recognised among us as the 


true and only physiology of the brain ; so clear and philosophical, so beautiful, so 
eloquent, so forcible are all Gall's descriptions and reasonings, and so numerous 
are the pi'oofs he adduces of the several organs. But even now, above half a cen- 
tury since their discovery, the anatomy of Gall has indeed begun to be taught in 
the medical schools in addition to, yet not, as I conceive it ought to be, to the 
entire exclusion of the antiquated and barbarous sliciugs and exhibition of various 
parts, under the fanciful and meaningless names required by the examiners at the 
different colleges ; such as the striated body, semicircular band, optic bed, camel's 
foot, black place, lyre, pen, &c., &c.; while his physiology is only partially ad- 
mitted by some, and by others totally ignored or repudiated. 

Deeply impressed with these considerations, I made a careful translation of 
Gall's work, in six volumes, 8vo., some years ago, but have hitherto been deterred 
by the expense in bringing it out. Latterly, however, I have been 9o strongly 
urged to publish it by subscription, that I have determined to do so as soon as I 
have obtained subscribers enough, at two guineas a copy, to cover a reasonable 
proportion of the outlay ; compressing the whole into two handsome 8vo. volumes, 
in a clear bold type, with the addition of an epitome of the Anatomy, not included 
in Gall's 8vo. edition, and a supplement containing a notice of the organs added 
by Dr. Spurzheim and others ; and incorporating with the letter-press wood-cuts 
of all the plates referred to in the body of the work that have hitherto been pub- 
lished exclusively in folio, with the quarto edition, in a form so expensive as to be 
entirely beyond the reach of the riiajority of readers. I shall thus, I hope, render 
my translation in every way worthy of the great original ; and I trust that every 
phrenologist — every cerebral physiologist will co-operate with me in bringing this 
magnificent work fairly before the English public, important as it is to the medical 
man, to the lawyer, to the physiologist ; important, that is, to every one who mSy 
be called upon to treat or to legislate upon a case of disordered intellect; indis- 
pensable to him who would study the source of the moral and intellectual faculties, 
the conditions of their manifestation, and the mode of discovering their organs, 

Edmond S. Symes, 

[Those of our readers disposed to take a copy or copies, will oblige by intimating 
the same, sending name and address at their earliest convenience, to Mr. Symes, 
77, Grosvenor Street, London, — Ed,] 


DuEiNG the past week Mr. Holyoake has lectured in South Shields and New- 
castle-upon-Tyne. The Wesleyan Conference, which is being assembled in that 
town, offered an unusual opportunity for useful discussion ; but, though an army 
of soldiers of the cross were present, none could be induced to do battle for Zion. 
A friend, well known to the rationalists of Whitehaven, has died suddenly in the 
town. When taken to buiial, the service was refused on account of the liberality 
of his opinions, which has produced much excitement in the town. Added to that 
accasion by the late magisterial decision, Mr. Holyoake has gone down to White- 
haven to deliver lectures on the subject. Lectures for Tuesday and Wednesday 
evenings of this week have been announced to be delivered in the Theatre. 


(Syamixutiaxx at tl)t \BrtS9. 

Operations of the Religious Tract Society. — We extract the following 
from the speech of the Rev. Mr. Saifery, delivered at a meeting held in the 
Merchants' Hall, Glasgow, Bailie Gourlay in the chair: — The rev. gentleman 
began by remarking on the extraordinary progress of the London Tract Society. 
In the first year of its existence, the income of the Society was £467 ; last year, 
its income, including the proceeds of its sales, exceeded £60,000; in the first year 
of its history the Society issued 200,000 tracts in one language; last year it issued 
20,887,064 tracts and books in 110 languages, making a total of 549,000,000 tracts 
and book sissued since the Society commenced its operations. Yet, lastyear, the issues 
of the infidel press in London alone amounted to 30,000,000 publications, so that while 
this society was the only one raising anything like a bulwark against that flood-tide 
of evil which threatened to engulph the land, its issues were 10,000,000 behind 
the infidel press of London. And infidels wer^ not only multiplying their publi- 
cations, but they were adapting those publications to all the various orders of men. 
For the vulgar and profane they had a literature gross, sensual, and revolutionary, 
but for the educated and refined they had a bland and serpentine scepticism. Mr. 
Safi"ery then described in detail many of the plans by which infidels were endea- 
vouring to disseminate their pernicious doctrines, and quoted from an infidel 
publication a sublime eulogy upon the Sacred Volume, which was only introduced 
by the writer as the prelude to an insidious attack upon the Divine authority of the 
volume, which he afi'ected to admire. Mr. Safifery also alluded to the large number 
of shops open on Sabbath days as well as other days for the exclusive sale of infidel 
publications, and to the extensive circulation of those works. In Manchester alone 
a monthy atheistical publication attained a regular sale of 20,000 copies. And it 
was alarming to find that infidels were pushing to a great extent the gratuitous 
distribution of tracts. Some time since, when he (Mr. Saffery) was going from 
London to Norwich, there was in the same carriage a gentleman with a bundle of 
tracts in his hand, and by his side a large bag, from which he replenished his sup 
plies as they became exhausted. At every station he threw out some of these 
tracts, and in the course of the journey he presented one to him (Mr. S.) He 
imagined it to be a religious tract, but on looking at it was much struck at finding 
that it broadly and boldly advocated atheism, as the only antidote to the fear of 
death. In answer to an inquiry which he made, he was informed that all the tracts 
which had been distributed at the stations and elsewhere were of the same character 
He asked the gentleman what object he could have in circulatin-g tracts of such 
a tendency, and in course of conversation he received this reply : — ' We shall never 
be able to overthrow the institutions of this country, so long as they are guarded 
by your Christianity.' When at Irvine, last week, he was told by a clergyman there 
that even in that small town the gratuitous circulation of infidel tracts had come 
under his observation. Entering the house of a member of his congregation he 
found two tracts, not only of an infidel tendency, but grossly immoral ; and on 
inquiry, he found that they had been left by a pedlar, who was in the habit of leaving 
a tract with every one who purchased from him. In British India there was at 
the present time a spirit, of inquiry abroad, and a heaving of the public mind, 
preparatory to the casting off of ancient superstitions. Infidels were observing 
the crisis, and were diligently improving it, by distributing their publications in 
thousands and tens of thousands. The very day after the Exhibition was opened, he 
was accosted by a gentleman in French, who handed him a tract in French, which 


he took home in the impression that the gentleman was one of the Christian 
foreigners to whom the Society had given tracts for distribution. The title of the 
tract was, ' There is no God but Nature,' and the substance of it was this — the 
impulses of nature are God's voice in man, and obedience to his passions is his 
first and highest duty. — Glasgow Chronicle, July 23. 

The ' ATHENi:uM's ' Estimate of Robert Owen. — We are reminded by the 
printed petitions of the House of Parliament of the continued existence and 
activity of Mr. Robert Owen. It is now nearly fifty years since this enthusiastic 
reformer undertook the management of Lanark Mills. The efiiects produced there 
in less than ten years on a somewhat rude and apparently intractable race by the 
wise and kindly policy pursued towards them, made, as soon as they were generally 
known, a great sensation among the advocates of popular education. Few men 
have ever received more flattering caresses from princes and statesmen than were 
for some years lavished on the successful manager of the Scotch cotton-mills : 
we may also add, that perhaps equally few of those who have really conferred 
benefits on mankind have suffered greater neglects in their old age than have 
fallen to his share. Yet, nothing seems to shake the benevolent reformer's con- 
fidence in his peculiar theories. What he told the world thirty years ago, he now 
repeats to the Parliament of England. He has, he says, discovered the one social 
panacea — the certain cure for ' ignorance, poverty, disunion, vice, crime, and their 
attendant miseries :' and this discovery he offers to lay before a committee of 
* scientific and experienced men of business in the various great departments of 
life.' Scientific and practical men may smile at his proposal : — knowing that 
Mr. Owen's peculiar plans and ideas have been long before the world — that the 
latter have undergone twenty years of popular discussion, and that the former 
have been practically tried in a score of places in England, Ireland, and America, 
with the universal result of failure. But when these points are remembered to 
his discredit, it should not be forgotten that we owe to his fervour and philanthropy 
our present system of infant training— and that to him in a great measure is to 
be ascribed the more humane and reasonable methods of teaching which distin- 
guish our present schools from those of the last generation. There is still a debt 
of justice due to Mr. Owen. We have no wish to see Parliament grant a commis- 
sion of inquiry into his social and philosophical theories — that they are inappli- 
cable is in part at least shown by their uniform non-success : yet we cannot but 
admire the consistent enthusiasm which has outlived the countenance of the great, 
the sympathy of the many, and the sterling devotion of the few. Mr. Owen gave 
a new value to 'kindness ' as an element of training; and when ever he quits the 
scene he will leave the world gentler, and in some things wiser, than he found it. 
— AthencBum, July 19, 1851. 

CiKCDLATioN OF Voltaire's Works. — ' If,' says the AssemhUe, ' a new man had 
been found sufficiently intelligent to understand how that coup d'etat was to the 
advantage of liberty, and sufficiently bold to attempt it, there would have been a 
chance, though not a certainty, of success, for the minds of men, it must not be 
forgotten, were deeply prejudiced. The evil was in the prevailing ideas. The 
movement of the opposition was anti-religious, at least as much as anti-monarchical. 
From 1817 to 1824, 31,000 copies of the works of Voltaire had been published, 
24,500 of J. J. Rousseau, and 10,000 of Pigault-Lebrun. They were glorious 
times for M. Touquet ; and Paul Louis Courier, as well as M. Beranger, had 
attacked religion as well as the Monarchy.' 




^r. ?|er6ert ^^tnttt'S Cficorg at Human ?|ajjpinc^3/ 


' Happiness,' says Mr. Spencer, ' consists 
in the due satisfaction of the desires ;' 
and that there can be no satisfaction 
unless man is in harmony with his po- 
sition. In proporiion, then, as man's 
desires are few and simple is the proba- 
bility of the attainment of happiness. 
But in proportion as his desires become 
various and complex, and indefinitely in- 
creasing, will the attainment of happiness 
be, not only difficult, but impossible. 

A man of undeveloped mind — a savage 
or a peasant in a civilised country — has 
few and simple desires, and they are 
easily satisfied; this, however, is not so 
true of the peasant as the savage. But 
in proportion as the mind becomes 
cultivated and developed — as the feelings, 
the imagination, and the reason become 
refined — as the capacities enlarge and 
knowledge increases — -the desires will 
increase in number and complexity, and 
as fast as one desire is gratified another 
will arise, and so on indefinitely. Hence 
the higher the state of mental development, 
the higher the state of civilisation, the 
greater the difficulty in satisfying the 
unceasing desires, and the greater the 
discontent and misery. 

Consequently, civilised man, whose 
mind is in a state of constant development, 
can never be in harmony with his po- 
sition (as a savage or peasant may be), 
because his wants and desires indefinitely 
increase ; and the more they are gratified 
the more the J increase. He is always, in his 
imagination and desires, in advance of his 
circumstances. ' Man never is, but al- 
ways to be, blest.^ In fact, from the very 
nature of man as a progressive being (as 
is the supposition), he must always be 
in a state of progression. He can never 
be satisfied, never come to a stajid still; 
he must ever be seeking to advance, and 
consequently can never be happy, as he 
can never satisfy all his desires, never 
become completely in harmony with his 

Hence it is, that seeing the hopeless- 
ness of attaining satisfaction and happi- 
ness in his present state of existence, 

* This article relates to a work by Mr. 
Herbert Spencer, which all the press has 
agreed to call ' able,' entitled ' Social Sta- 
tics.' Published by Chapman. 

man is found almost universally indulg- 
ing the hope of a future life after death, 
in which all his desires shall be gratifi^ed 
and he shall be in perfect harmony with 
his position. Anexpectation,which,jadg- 
ing from our experience in man's con- 
stitution, we must consider altogether 

Again : 'Happiness,' we aretold.'con- 
sists in the due exercise of all the 
faculties. Man must, therefore, to be 
happy, have liberty to exercise aU his 
faculties, so that, in so doing, he does 
not interfere with the similar liberty of 
others. * All must have rights to liberty 
of action, hence arises necessarily a 
limitation.' Yes; and this limitation 
must necessarily more or less interfere 
with perfect liberty of action (which is 
thus proved not to exist), and conse- 
quently with the full gratification of the 
desires. A cannot have full liberty to 
gratify all his desires, because if he has, 
he interferes with the liberty and desires 
of C and D; consequently, A's happi- 
ness is interfered with and diminished 
by C and D. The same is true of C's 
happiness as regards A and D, and so 
on as regards all the members of a com- 

Man, whether in a savage or civilised 
state, appears to be constituted to be 
more or less selfish — i.e., to consider his 
own interests and happiness more than 
those of others. He will, therefore, 
more or less interfere with the desires 
and happiness of others in order to 
realise his own, or he will have his 
own desires and happiness interfered 
with by others. If man's selfishness be 
denied, or it be supposed to be in course 
of diminution — which we apprehend it 
would be difficult to prove, for civilisa- 
tion, by promoting the love of ease, pro- 
motes selfishness — still we cannot ima- 
gine a highly-developed mind, with many 
and complex desires, having no desires but 
those which he can gratify without inter- 
fereing with the desires of others. He 
must, therefore, feel desires which he 
cannot gratify and yet cannot eradicate; 
he must, therefore, practise self-dinial2Lnd. 
make sacrifices, which involve more or less 
of loss and pain, and so far his happiness 
is diminis/ied. Again : Mr, Spencer con- 
siders that man is perpetually tending 



to complete harmony with his position, 
which he will ultimately reach, and 
thus that 'evil will disappear.' I con- 
fess I see no proof of this ; the proof 
lies all the other way. There is one 
'great fact,' already referred to, which 
upsets this position — that a state of high 
mental development, the characteristic of 
civilisation, is always found accompanied 
by a perpetually-increasing amount of 
wants and desires : so that desire and 
imagination are ever in advance of the 
position attained, and consequently con- 
tent, to say nothing of happiness, can 
never be realised. The ' complete hai*- 
mony' supposed, therefore, can never 

The instances adduced of man's ' adap- 
tability ' to circumstances are, to say 
the least, very unsatisfactory, and show 
rather a deterioration than any approach 
to ' perfectibility.' It is said that ' man 
becomes fleet and agile in the wilderness, 
and inert in the city — attains acute 
vision, hearing, and scent when his 
habits of life call for them, and gets these 
senses blunted when they are less need- 
ful ;' i.e., man, in a state of civilisation, 
loses his natural powers, and so becomes 
deficient and mutilated — a sufficient 
proof to me that he has transgressed a 
law of nature, and is suffering the punish- 
ment of his disobedience. The 'agility 
of the wilderness ' induces vigorous 
health ; the ' inertness of the city ' leads 
to feebleness of constitution and pre- 
mature decrepitude. It is true, necessity 
sharpens man's ingenuity, and occasions 
the invention of contrivances to supply 
the loss or defect of natural powers. 
Thus the optician furnishes us with 
glasses, the dentist with teeth, the wig- 
maker with hair, and the deterioration 
of our locomotive powers is supplied by 
vehicles and railways. But surely no 
one will contend — like the fox in the 
fable, who, having lost his Uu\, wished 
to prove it was better to be without one 
— that these contrivances are adequate 
compensation for the loss of the natural 
powers ; loss and inconvenience have been 
sustained, which, as they lessen enjoy- 
ment, must diminish happiness. The 
loss or deficiency of natural powers being 
granted, it is admitted that man is in 
process of deterioi-rjon. The iusta)ices 
of the drunkard, (lie opium-eater, the 
smoker, and snufl'-taker are still more 
unfortunate, and show the weakness of 
the foundation on which the author's 

theory rests. These instances are ad- 
duced to show * how the system gradually 
acquires power to resist what is noxious.' 
Nothing, according to the authority of 
physiologists and the testimony of ex- 
perience, can be more erroneous. It is 
true, that the irritating effects of unna- 
tural stimulants at length cease to be 
felt at those avenues, whose warning 
voice has been neglected ; but the 
noxious agent is gradually affecting the 
constitution, till disease supervenes, and 
death vindicates the violated law of 
nature. This is notoi'iously the case 
with the confirmed drunkard and opium- 
eater. Smoking and snuffing, though 
not so noxious, cannot but be injurious ; 
for nature expostulates on their first 
introduction into the system. The same 
is true of all unnatural stimulants. If 
there are, as is generally insisted upon 
by physiologist?, certain conditions 
under which alone vigorous health can 
be realised, man, although he may by 
habit blunt his perceptions of the 
noxious influences silently at work, can 
never be placed in circumstances at 
variance with these conditions without 
suffering more or less in his health and 
duration ot life. I refer Mr. Spencer 
to some striking instances against his 
theory of adaptability adduced by Dr. 
J. Johnson, in his work on ' Change of 
Aiz',' when speaking of 'goitre and cretan- 
ism,' 'the pellagra,' and the horrible 
effects of the malaria of the Roman 
marshes on the native inhabitants. It 
deserves notice, also, that the Americans 
of the United States are generally an 
unhealthy people, and do not seem yet 
acclimatised after at least two centuries. 
I would especially call Mr. Spencer's 
attention to the pi-evalence of ill-health, 
disease, and premature death, under our 
present civilisation, as facts strongly at 
variance with his theory of adaptability. 
The evils are justly considered by physio- 
logists as the natural results of the viola- 
tion of the laws of nature, which laws, 
though they may apparently be evaded 
for a time, are sure ultimately to vin- 
dicate their power, despite the alleged 
influence of time and habit. Man is 
constituted for constant pht/sical activity, 
which, by the law of nature, supposes 
but little mental exercise, for they are 
not found to be consistent. Civilisation 
runs directly counter to this law of man's 
being, for its characteristics are seden- 
tary employment and mental application, 



the evil efifects of which are increased 
by luxurious diet and unnatural stimu- 
lants. Instead, therefore, of vigorous 
health and longevity (see Captain Cook's 
account of the New Zealanders), we 
have feeble constitutions, innumerable 
diseases, and premature death. The 
grand characteristic and error of civili- 
sation is the development of the nervous 
system at the expense of the muscular 
system — ^just the reverse of what nature 
intended in framing the human consti- 
tution. The natural result is an exces- 
sive susceptibility of the brain and ner- 
vous system, which occasions, not only a 
long train of bodily disorders, but a 
great number of mental maladies. 
Hence nervousness, hypochondria, in- 
sanity, and suicide, which are prominent 
characteristics of civilised life, and 
which appear to be on the increase. 
Hence, also, irritability of temperament, 
so fruitful in domestic and social dis- 
orders ; unnatural crimes, as mothers 
poisoning their children and wives their 
husbands ; hence the insane craving 
after excitement, and the love of the 
horrible and the terrible; hence ex- 
traordinary schemes and extravagant 
theories; hence many of the religious 
and political movements, which savour 
strongly of monomania. All these evils 
seem evidently traceable to excessive 
nervous susceptibility, which all the 
influences of civilisation combine to 
create and encourage. A striking proof 
how contrary are the general influences 
of civilisation to the laws of nature, so 
far as health of mind and body are con- 
cerned, is found in the fact, that civili- 
sation not only makes men morbidly 
sensitive to natural impressions, but 
creates moral and social evils which are 
still more intolerable to this excessive 
susceptibility; so that a double amount of 
mischief is created. It is as though a 
man were not only divested of clothing 
but denuded of his cuticle, and his more 
sensitive cutis constantly exposed to 
the irritating agency of briars and 
nettles. 1 am aware that it will here 
be said, that the evils of man's present 
position are admitted, but that that does 
not afiect the argument in hand, as he 
is in a transition state, gradually on his 
way to a complete adaptation to his 
position, and that all the evils com- 
plained of are in course of extinction. 
Of this I am sorry to say I can see no 
evidence, but quite the reverse. Let it 

be remembered, that man was originally 
created, as our author admits, in har- 
mony with his position — that he lived 
in accordance with the laws of his nature, 
and lead a life of physical activity and 
of simple habits, and was consequently 
healthy and contented — that, in course 
of time, he forsook the habits that were 
in accordance with his constitution, and 
adopted habits of an artificial character 
that were contrary to the 'primary and 
and essential laws of his nature, and 
consequently became genei-ally un- 
healthy, discontented, and often miser- 

He has gone from nature to art, from 
health to disease, from contentment to 
misery. Does this look anything like a 
gradual progress from imperfection to 
perfection ? Does it not rather look like 
a retrogression from good to evil ?* 
What probability is there that man 
will ever again live in accordance with 
those laws which, whatever modifications 
may have taken place in his constitution, 
cannot be violated with impunity, as he 
is constantly reminded by those physical 
and mental sufierings to which all of 
every class in civilised life are more or 
less subject ? What probability is there 
that man will forsake the artificial, the 
luxurious, the enervating, for the simple, 
the physical, the strengthening ? Is it 
not more in the order of nature that he 
should go on in the course he has 
adopted, and become more artificial, 
more luxurious, more enervated — in 
other words, that his nervous susceptibility 
will increase, and thei'efore the numerous 
physical and moral evils that flow from 
tiidt prolific source, when all the agen- 
cies that act upon this susceptibility are 
continually on the increase ? There 
appears to me to be abundant evidence 
that this is really the case. When was 
there ever more cerebral excitement, 
more mental application and anxiety — 
whenever more religious, political, and 
social agitation — whenever more loud 
and general complaints of political and 
social evils — whenever the pressure of 
excessive population more severely felt 
— whenever more pauperism and crime 
— whenever more violent and unnatural 
crimes — whenever a greater repugnance 

* We readily admit that civilisation has 
many advantages, but we consider that 
none of its gifts can be placed in competi- 
tion with health and contentment. 



to physical exertion — a greater inven- 
tion and application of machinery to 
supersede manual labour, or more con- 
trivances for superseding physical exer- 
cise — whenever a greater desire to 
ohtnin wealth in the shortest and easiest 
method, by speculation, by gambling, in 
order to enjoy ease and luxury ? Never 
surely was there a time when more 
general and active agencies were at work 
for exalting the nervous sensibility and 
lessening the physical activity. 

All medical writers agree that the 
nervous susceptibility of the human sys- 
tem is greatly on the increase, that conse- 
quently neverdid nervous disorders more 
prevail, or more dyspepsia, more hypo- 
chondria. Never were medical men 
more numerous, whether physicians, 
surgeons, dentists, oculists, aurists, &c.; 
never more chemists, never more quack 
medicines sold. Hospitals, asylums for 
the insane and idiotic, for the deaf, dumb, 
and blind, are increasing — but not halt" 
so fast as the demand for them is in- 

All these facts testify to the increase 
of disease. This will, perhaps, be denied ; 
but, independently of the significant 
signs just enumerated, it is admitted by 
those most competent to form a judg- 
ment on the subject, that if some 
diseases — as leprosy, the sweating sick- 
ness, &c. — have disappeared, new ones 
have arisen, as that Protean and com- 
prehensive disorder termed nervousness, 
also dyspepsia, cholera, influenza, dis- 
eases of the heart — hence sudden deaths 
are greatly on the increase. Even the 
much-vaunted vaccination gives evidence 
of diminished power to ward ofif the 
small-pox, which is now often fatal to 
persons of middle age as well as to chil- 

I know it will be urged that the pro- 
bability of lite has increased. I have 
not space fully to discuss this point, but 
can only express my doubt of the vali- 
dity of the evidence on which this fact 
rests. It is not fair to come to a decision 
on this point from comparing the tables 
of deaths very accurately kept in the 
present time with those of a period when 
they were not kept at all, or very im- 
perfectly kept, it is well-known that 
tables of mortality kept at different 
places differ considerably.* Be this as 

* Dr. Southwood Smith considers ' it 
may be presumed, that the duration of 

it may, if we grant that the duration of 
life has increased, it may yet be true, as 
Dr. J. Johnson observes, that disease 
has increased ; for ' certain kinds of 
maladies may affect great multitudes of 
people without materially abridging the 
span of human life.' Persons may live 
a long period under chronic disorders 
and under the constant or frequent endur- 
ance of much suffering. This is true of 
nervous disorders, which yet involve an 
infinite amount of mental distress and 
physical discomfort and debility. It is 
surely, generally speaking, better to be 
cut off in the prime of life by a plague or 
by war than to linger through many 
years of pain and suffering, a torment to 
one's self and a source of distress to all 
one's relations and friends. 

So far, then, from there being any 
proof of man's progressing to a state in 
complete harmony with his position, 
and of the ultimate removal of evil, 
there appears to be overwhelming evi- 
dence that man, from the increasing 
susceptibility of his constitution and the 
increasing evils and difficulties of his 
circumstances, must become more and 
more at variance with his position, 
and that evil and misery will conse- 
quently become aggravated. The law of 
nature respecting evil appears to be, not 
that it tends to disappear, but that it 
merely changes its character, and will, 
therefore, always continue in one form 
or an other. It is found, also, to be a law 
of nature that good is not absolute, but 
is always attended with some evil. How, 
then, without a reversal of a law of 
nature, can we expect that evil can pos- 
sibly disappear ? 

The only way to diminish evil is to 
lessen man's susceptibility to it. This 
appears to be man's state in his primitive 
position of physical activity and simple 
habits, to which there is no probability 
that he will return. But, under civili- 
sation, with increasing evil and increas- 
ing susceptibility to it, the prospect 
before us is evidently that of the increase, 
not of the disappearance, of evil. 

I should feel much obliged to Mr. 
Spencer if he will solve the difficulties 
which appear to me to attach to his 
theory of human happiness. 

life at Rome, 1300 years ago, was very 
much the same as it is throughout Europe 
at the present day.' — Philosofhy of Health. 
This does not look much like improvement. 


Our ^3Iat(0rm. 

From which any earnest opponent may controvert our opinions, and from which any may expound views 
not coincident with our own, if tending to the Rationalisation of Theology. 


Sib, — In replying, in compliance with your wish, to Mr. Henry Norrington's 
letter (ante, No. 268), in which he charges you with mistaking Christianity, I must 
be understood as doing so upon its merits, and without reference to anything 
which you might have said or written on the subject. 

The Spirit in which Mr, N.'s letter is dictated is all that could be desired; but 
his opinion of what constitutes Christianity is, to me, somewhat incomprehensible. 
Mr. N. says he ' fears you sometimes mistake your position, and confound the thing 
called Christianity with the sayings, teachings, and actions of Christ.' The ' say- 
ings, teachings, and actions of Christ,' as recorded in the New Testament, are the 
only grounds that exist for Christianity. Out of the New Testament — as in the 
fragments (thanks to Christians, fragments only) of Celsus, Porphyry, Julian, &c, 
— Christ cuts but a very sorry figure. 'What your [the editor's] moral objections 
to Christianity can be I cannot conceive,' says Mr. Norrington. ' The spirit of all 
Christ's teachings is pure and heavenly. If your opinions (continues Mr. N.) are 
formed by what is said of Christ, then your moral objections must exist in great 
abundance.' You, I presume, like every one else, have formed your opinions 
of the moral value of Christ's teachings by what it is iaid in the New Testament 
Christ taught. Where else you could obtain any, or better, information on the 
subject, I do not know. From whence did Mr. Norrington obtain the ground for 
his belief that the ' spirit of all Christ's teachings is pure and heavenly/ if not 
from the New Testament? and if, from the same source, 'moral objections in 
great abundance ' may be obtained, are not you (the editor) justified in teaching that 
Christianity is a worthless thing as respects this world, whatever might be its 
value as respects another, in which, however, you have no faith ? 

Mr. Norrington says, ' Christ never wrote anything for posterity, nor commanded 
anything to be written ; but he left behind him an influence and spirit that admits 
of eternal progress, and modifies all external institutions.' I am not aware that 
Christ ever wrote anything for his contemporaries. Now, as Christ 'never wrote 
anything for posterity,' it is manifest that all we can know of him or his teachings 
must be either traditional or what has been written by a second party. The 
Church of Rome professes to be the depository of certain traditions respecting 
Christ, which she says were received by her directly from the apostles; but as 
Mr. Norrington says Catholicism is not Christianity, I shall pass them over as of 
DO value. There remains then only the writings of the New Testament to tell us 
anything of Christ or his teachings ; and if the validity of these is impugned — 
there being no other source of information on the subject — there is at once an end 
of Christianity as a moral code, owing its origin to a man called Christ, and as 
being God-intended as a rule of life for this world and as a passport for another 
life to come. 

Mr. Norrington says, ' If such a being [as Christ] were met with in Grecian or 
Roman history he would be the constant object of laudation. Then why refuse him 
his just meed of praise and reverence because his followers have deified hxm, put into 
his mouth words that he never spoke, attributed to him actions that he never performed, 
a>id made him responsible for all the miserable sophistries and dogmas which they have 
invented?^ What exclusive source of information on this subject has Mr. Norring- 


ton, that he speaks so .confidently of the wholesale adulteration of the history of 
Christ as contained in the New Testament? Neither Mr. Norrington nor any 
one else has a right to coolly ignore important statements in an historical or semi- 
historical work, without bringing ample evidence justifying such a course, which 
Mr. N. has not done. When the editor calls in question the moral value of 
Christianity, it is with exclusive reference to the Christianity of the New Testa- 
ment : it is neither this man's view nor that man's view of what Christianity ought 
to be, but his own view of what it is made to be by those who had a personal know- 
ledge of Christ, and who say they heard and saw what they record ; and upon this 
ground Mr, N. himself admits there exist reasons for moral objections in abun- 

Mr. Norrington says ' Catholicism is not consistent Christianity.' What is con- 
sistent Christianity ? Is there any such thing — has thereeverbeen— or is it possible 
there ever could be, and society hang together ? Mr. N. says he is a ' rationalist ' — 
are rationalists agreed as to what is consistent Christianity ? The impression on my 
mind, from what rationalistic views have come before me, is that rationalists con- 
sider Christianity to be a name which men are at liberty to give to any metaphysical or 
theological opinions they may hold, provided a code of pure morality forms one of 
the ingredients in the scheme. I may be wrong, and should like to be set right if 
I am so. I should like to know what essential part the Christ of the gospels plays 
in the moral code of a rationalist, and what claim rationalists have to the title of 
Christians. Mr. Norrington would oblige by explaining. 

In conclusion, I would remark that as, in estimating the moral value of Chris- 
tianity, so in determining its most perfect type amongst existing sects, the editor 
has gone to the epistles and gospels to learn what is Christianity. And if, as a 
consequence of such investigation, he considers Catholicism the most perfect type 
of New Testament Christianity, I have no doubt — for I have never heard him on 
the subject — that he has many and cogent reasons for such conclusion. 

July 21, 1851. W. Chilton. 


Sir, — I read with great pleasure your lecture on ' Irreligious Books,' reported 
in the Carlisle Journal. The question is one which is very much discussed at the 
councils of our Mechanics' Institution here. The wrong committed by a I'ule ex- 
cluding irreligious books is not confined to infidels, but extends here to all religious 
thinkers who are in the minority — and as it happens that one class has the major 
influence at the Institution at one time, and another at another time, the whole of 
the religious public, betimes, and the tSeculari&ts aX all tiroes, suffer inconsequence. 
The cause of much of this is, what was intended as a plain injunction has become 
quite an enigma — and the questions of what are religious and irreligious books, are 
the most difiicult we have got to settle. In the midst of this a new light has broken 
in upon the conscientious — namely, that although privately they hold a certain 
book religious, yet, as the rule was sanctioned publicly, it would be unfair to intro- 
duce the book unless they found the public would let it pass the ' Index Expurga- 
torius,' which would necessitate a public meeting over the head of a great propor- 
tion of all new books. Unfortunately this is not convenient, and because one can- 
not conveniently have his book adjudged, he and society lose by the squaring of 
his conscience to this clumsy rule. If ever there was a drag on progress, or a 
weapon fitted to cut on all sides — enemies and friends — it is one of this kind, and 
will surely not long survive the growing good sense of all classes. S. 



Sir, — While hearing you lecture in Paisley, the following thoughts presented 
themselves to my mind more forcibly than usual. Beside their importance to my- 
self, I find they are objections with Roman Catholics to the Reasoner. Your 
manner of treating such objections would be desirable. 

How can any one deduce a certain creed of morality from the system you ad- 
vocate ? Actions have enduring and infinite effects : human powers of judging them 
are limited and transitory. It is easy to advocate, to judge according to capacity — 
not so easy to trust the worth of our decisions. To me it is plain, if the effects 
of every action be infinite, the finite adjudicator has no time to calculate its worth 
or weigh its comparative value with an immense number of other things possible 
for him to do; and therefore he can never arrive at a satisfactory conclusion. So 
far as he can see, a number of actions may be worthless, yet they shall so modify 
futurity that posterity may pronounce them the most fortunate events that could 
have happened ; while others, apparently great and pompous, lose themselves like 
rivers in sands. 

Is he not, then, who is led by faith, happier than the Rationalist ? He who 
believes the infinite God alone can and has revealed the secret of morals in their 
connection with the infinite universe — who is not led by a pilot he distrusts, but 
throughout the short period of his life is unteazed by doubt — enjoys his dogmatic 
conclusions with a confidence and zest the inquirer vainly looks for. T. 

[Our correspondent fails to conceive our case. It is not necessary ' to deduce 
a certain creed of morality from the system we advocate.' There is already much 
morality in the world never practised ; one reason of it we take to be, that men 
look for it in books of faith rather than in the nature of things. "What we advocate 
is their looking to nature for moral direction, where men find a ground for it which 
is intelligible and associated with consequences which recommend it. We may 
not be able to see the infinite consequences of our actions. No matter for that. 
We detei-mine to do a thing because of the consequences as far as we can see them. 
Whether the man of Faith is happier than the Inquirer depends upon the kind of 
happiness a Christian prefers. The Ostrich is happy when it hides its head from 
threatened danger, but happier is the Eagle who faces it and fights it. The Sot is 
happy who drowns his cares ; but happier is he who keeps sober, meets, and 
masters them. It cannot be true that the Christian who walks by faith is happier 
than he who walks by Sight, for no man walks by Faith when he has Sight to walk 
by.— Ed.] 


Sir, — In your last number, along with the Petition of the Central Board of the 
Rational Society, you published some remarks, condemnatory of its tone. To in- 
duce legislative inquiry it was essential that some wrong must be stated, for which 
the ordinary course of law did not provide an efficient remedy ; and, as is stated 
in the Petition, the gentlemen with whom it originated did not think it at all likely 
that law proceedings would result in anything satisfactory. The allegations of the 
Petition have therefore been confined as closely as possible in our power to the 
facts of the case. In your remarks you admit the facts, but object to the mode 
of putting them forward. The only person directly charge with wrong is Mr. 
John Finch. By giving insertion to the foregoing you will oblige myself and 
colleagues. J. Ckamp, V.P. 





Sir, — The fact of your having baptised or named three children in public 
assembly in your late visit to Glasgow, as mentioned in the Reasoner, is, I think, 
somewhat inconsistent with your rejection of all religions and religious creeds, 
and demands some explanation of the grounds on which you rest such a practice; 

"What is it but the vain imitation of the religious world, with whom the practice 
is in consonance with their professions ? but with those who think as you do it is 
destitute of meaning, answering no useful purpose, and therefore worthless. 

It appears to me an exhibition of weak pride on the part of the parents, and 
inability on the part of all to act consistently, who countenance such proceedings. 

Glasgow. TiMON. 

[To do nothing that a Christian does because he does it, as Timon appears to 
argue, would oblige one not to eat because the Christian eats. Thig might be 
* consistent,' but it would be rather troublesome. I did not baptise (none of us 
ever did) any children. I only gave them names publicly, and that at the request 
of any parents when they asked for it. It can be converted into a pledge of duty 
on their part. It is only when a parent requests that I comply with it. As a 
mere ceremony I regard it as useless. — Ed.] 


SiK, — My present opinions are adverse to frequenting ' houses of God,' and they 
caused me a strenuous combat to obtain the privilege of my choice in the matter. 
When I divulged the real state of my mind on religion to my father, and why I 
could not attend church, the subject passed oflF with his observing that ' some day 
I should find I was wrong ;' but when the following Sunday came, and he insisted 
on my going to church, I remonstrated, by which I gained my right. 

Another very awkward position for an atheist to be in, is when the family have 
been accustomed to say grace. It was my duty to say grace before dinner every 
Sunday. I have been obliged to modify my ' grace,' and remove the usual sense 
altogether. The few ' unthankful ' words I uttered, coupled with the indifiFerence 
which I manifested, induced my father to say it himself, and so I got clear. 

These difficulties I have mastered, but others oppress me, which all-conquering 
time only can relieve. One cause of vexation to me is, that I am prohibited 
attending the Sunday eveniRg lectures in London, although I may perchance 
reach Webber Street. At present this is my greatest anxiety. When I can 
obtain this liberty, I hope to follow some plans I have in contemplation for 
acquiring knowledge. 

Most decidedly I am of opinion that each person should think for himself, and 
be allowed to act accordingly, providing such conduct be upright and tending 
to the well-being of mankind. Why should not the atheist be allowed the free- 
will the Christian so much stickles for ? 





Sir, — Will you explain the difference, in point of morality, between the atone- 
ment you propose to Church-going infidels and the penances oi the Romish Church, 
and oblige One of your Constant Readers. 

[The penances of the Romish Church are penances, I take tbem, chiefly for sins 
of indulgence ; the retaliation, not ' atonement,' of which I spoke, was for sins of 
coercion, the acts of others. — Ed.] 

To promote the efficiency of the Reasoner as an organ of Propagandism, one friend subscribes 10s. 
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here and accounted for at the end of the Volume. 

Acknowledged in No. 270, 529s.— J. W., 20s.— Andrew Smith, Gateshead, 2s. 
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Literary Institution, John Street, Fitzroy Square. 
— August 17th [74], Henry Knight, ' Sunday Ser. 
mons versus Sunday Science.' — 19th [8^], Dis- 
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Respective Merits of Free Trade and Protection.' 

Hail of Science, City Road.— August 17th [7iJ, 
a lecture. 

National Hall, 242, High Holborn.— Aug. 17th, 
[8], P. W. PerStt will lecture. 

Eclectic Institute, Denmark Street, Soho. — 
Every Friday [8^], Mr. J. B. O'Brien, ' Home and 
Foreign Politics.' Every Sunday [7i], on ' Moral 
and Social Science.' 

Areopagus Coffee and Reading Room, 59, Church 
Lane, Whitechapel. — Every Sunday, Monday, and 
Wednesday (8), a Lecture or Discussion. 

City. Forum Coffee House, 60, Red Cross Street. 
— Every Sunday, Monday, and Thursday [84], a 

Commercial Hall, Philpot Street, Commercial 
Road East. — Every Tuesday and Thursday even- 
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Oity Road Discussion Society, 22, City Road. — 
Discussion every Wednesday evening. Subject, 
' Is there a Natural Religion?' 



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<Bnv C^jpm page. 

The Leader, of July 19th, contains an article entitled *A Prudish Lord.' We 
have not space to quote it, but it deserves the attention of our readers and the 
working men who are moving against the absurd tyranny therein described, and 
ought to be encouraged. 

We have received a long letter from Edwin Scoley, of Peterborough, who in- 
forms us that he exhibits in his shop window a list of freethinking publications for 
sale, including the ' Age of Reason,' * Logic of Death,' and Reasoner. Mr. Scoley 
is a shoemaker, and says he has met with disadvantages in trade through thus 
giving publicity to his principles. 

We have transmitted to the commissioners, superintendents of classes, and 
other officials connected with the Crystal Palace, copies of the tract entitled ' The 
Workman and the International Exhibition,' originally published in No. 65 of 
the Leader. 

The extortions from the Friends, by distraint for ecclesiastical purposes, from 
1700 to 1850, amount to £1,136,125; and it is computed, on good authority, that 
the spoliation of Friends' property in one hundred and ninety-five years for 
ecclesiastical purposes amounts to £1,316,000. The account from 1700 to 1850 is 
taken from authentic documents, annually printed by direction of the yearly 

At Gregory's Hotel, Cheapside, may be seen a picture of Shelley amid the Ruins 
of Rome. It was first painted at a cost of £100. Mrs. Shelley, Leigh Hunt, and 
others, considered it to contain a good likeness of the poet. The scene is the 
baths of Caracalla, where Shelley composed his ' Prometheus Unbound.' Severn, 
the artist, resided many years near the spot. The picture is for sale. 

The ' Oldham Social Society ' meets the first Sunday in every month at the 
house of Mr. Edward Rye, Red Lion Inn, Bottom-of-moor, at 7 o'clock p.m. This 
Society has ordered six dozens of the tract entitled the 'Logic of Death' through 
various booksellers, and intend to furnish all Clergymen and Dissenting Ministers 
with one each. Mr. Beswick sent one to the clergyman who has the charge of his 
soul. The rev. gentleman edified his followers with three lectures upon it. 

In a speech at a Bible meeting at Cheltenham (so the Derby'Mercury reports) the 
Rev. Francis Close said, ' There were some very smart ladies went to his church — 
ladies with beautiful pink bonnets and very fine ribands, and dressed in all sorts of 
finery; and some of these ladies were in the habit of coming out of his church, and 
dropping into the plate little neatly-folded packets done up in brown paper. Now 
he might mention it as a statistical fact, that there was never found in any one of 
these little packets any of the current coin of the realm more valuable than 

It is said that a small piece of rosin dipped in the water which is placed in a 
vessel on a stove will add a peculiar property to the atmosphere of the room, 
which will give great relief to persons troubled with a cough. The heat of the 
stove is sufficient to throw oflf the aroma of the rosin, and gives the same relief 
that is afforded by the combustion of the rosin. It is preferable to combustion, 
because the evaporation is more durable. The same rosin may be used for weeks. 

London: Printed by Holyoake Brothers, 3, Queen's Head Fassag;e, Paternoster-row; and Published 
by J. Watson, 3, Queen's Head Passage, Paternoster-row.— Wednesday, August 13th, 1851. 



They who believe that they have Truth ask no favour, save that of bein$c heard: they dare the 
judgment of Mankind : refused Co-operation, they invoke Opposition, for Opposition is their 
Opportunity. — Editok. 



The lectures in Dundee were delivered in the Thistle Hall. The audiences 
increased as the course proceeded. Finding that the editor of the Dundee Courier 
had attacked the Chartist programmists, I walked down to the office of that gen- 
tleman, and desired to know ' whether he would insert a reply from me, who, as a 
member of the Assembly who passed the Programme, was a party concerned ?' He 
said ' he could not tell till he had seen my reply.' I answered, ' I knew that very 
well — no editor could answer otherwise under the circumstances. I only wished 
to ascertain whether he had any moral objection to inserting it, before I prepared 
it. It was my business to make it such as he could insert ; and if I failed in that, 
I was quite willing that he should alter or reject it.' Everybody told me it was of 
no use going to him and of no use writing to him, for he would not put it in — he 
never took any notice of any communications from the people. * No matter,' I 
answered, ' it was my duty to send a reply, and his to decline it if he saw fit.' The 
same night I read my reply to an audience of seven hundred people, I am bound 
to say that the editor treated it with courtesy ; every comma of it duly appeared 
in the next Courier. It has since been quoted in the Leader, the Star, and other 

The hearers at the lectures were occasionally tumultuous ; but there was this 
advantage, you did know when they understood you. Some audiences will give no 
sign of this ; you might as well address a luggage train as address them. You 
can no more tell whether they comprehend you any more than a carriage of coals 
or a bale of cotton. The hiss of the honest fellow is as great a relief as that of 
the dumb speaking; it is an indication, a land-mark by the way. If either 
applause or complaint is indiscriminate, if it becomes in any sense immoderate, 
silence is much better. Such manifestations have neither sense, taste, nor direc- 
tion in them. But when manifestation of feeling is judicious it is a beacon or 

The disputants at the two last lectures in Dundee were numerous enough to 
create some comedy. One rather 'slow' young man read a speech, which of course, 
being prepared before I had spoken, was not very remarkable for relating to the 
subject. As I saw he had a gift for reading the same thing every night,* I oflfered 
to print it for him in the Reasoner, and received it for that purpose. I have to 
apologise that the press of matter arising out of the Lancaster Controversy has 
delayed its appearance till now. The reader will find it, I am afraid, rather dull. 
I tried to condense it, but found that impracticable, and I present it as forwarded 
to me by the writer. It is as follows : — 

' I confess to you, my friends, that I am no bigot in religion ; so far am I from 

* He actually sent me a note to ask jne to read it a second night to the audience. 

[No. 273.] INo. 14, Vol. XI. 



being so, I can assure you that if Mr. Holyoake will, by dint of reasonini?, give me 
demonstrative evidence that there is no God — if he give me clear proof that there 
is not such a being — I shall this night, or any other night, be converted to atheism. 
My parents were both members of the orthodox Protestant church, and instilled 
into my mind, when a child and boy, that Christianity ^was true. I was compelled 
to attend the same church as themselves. About the period when I was twelve 
years of age, I had neither proof that the Scriptures were true nor false. I went 
then regularly to church, but I confess that my mind had no clear evidence that 
the Scriptures were true or false. Notwithstanding all the teaching of my parents 
and of ministers, reason, like the sun, began to break through. After having at- 
tended divine service three times on a Sunday, after leaving church on each occa- 
sion T found that so incredulous was I that I was not satisfied with the bare asser- 
tions either of the minister or my parents. I felt within me a desire to inquire 
for myself; and though neither at that time did I profess infidelity, or atheism, or 
Christianity, I began to train and cultivate and strengthen my reason and judg- 
ment — and I confess I did feel within me a willingness to believe what had evidence 
in its favour, and to disbelieve what was clearly proved to be false. Such being 
the principles on which I acted in the formation of my creed in regard to every 
subject that came under my observation, you will not presume to deny that these 
principles were reasonable and right. You then may be anxious to know what is 
my creed. [I certainly had not the slightest anxiety.] What are my opinions 
after a period of eight or nine years has been increasing my knowledge and expe- 
rience, and brought many subjects to the bar of an unbiassed judgment? Well, 
if it is not presuming on your patience, I would say, in as few words as possible, 
that I have considered all the atheistical arguments in favour of that system, and 
I have to confess that they have never satisfied me that there is not a God ; and I 
further confess that, at this time, I cannot convince myself that the Scriptures of 
the Old and New Testaments arc false — but, at the same time, I will confess that 
sensible evidence of their being all truth was wanting to me also (I mean by sen- 
sible evidence, that evidence which convinces me that you, Mr. Holyoake, are 
seated on that platform). Now, since the arguments of the atheist in favour of 
his system do not convince my judgment that atheism is true, nor the arguments 
of divines that the Scriptures have sensible and demonstrative evidence of their 
truth, what, " 10 be consistent with my principles," should be my creed? Am I 
to say that the Scriptures are false, when I have no sensible and demonstrative 
evidence that they are false ? No, surely. On the other hand, am I to say they 
are true without having the same evidence that they are so ? No, surely. Such 
is the conclusion you will expect me to have come to, " to be consistent with my 
principles." Well, am I to remain fixed in the unbelief of both systems, without 
resolving to inquire further regarding both ? No. As the diflferent systems are 
contradictory to each other, both cannot be true; and if Christianity be true 
atheism must be false, and if atheism be true Christianity must be false. But, as 
the evidence of sense apparently cannot be given to confirm either as truth, it is 
for me to say I think such and such is true, and I think such and such is false, 
as circumstantial evidence in the proof of either system is to be found. My friends, 
are we going up to London to see the Great Exhibition that is now open in that city, 
claiming a title to ordinary intelligence and some experience? On seeing for the first 
time some complicate piece of machinery, I would be of very little doubt as to some 
facts regarding it. Indeed there are some such,that if I did not believe I would risk my 
name for mental sanity. I refer to the belief that such acouiplicate piece of machinery 



was formed of human hands, contrived and designed by a human mind. Now, sup- 
pose the inventor and maker of it to be in a distant country (he can't be in America 
and England at the same time — in other words, that I can't see him with my 
senses), can I, notwithstanding his present invisibility to my senses, be of the least 
doubt of its having^ a human being for its maker and designer? Surely not; now 
then I call such satisfactory and reasonable evidence to me, though not possessed 
of the evidence of the senses. Permit me to give another simple illustration. 
Suppose I possessed some heritable property in Edinburgh, and such uninhabited; 
suppose a dozen of robbers had resolved to break into this property ; suppose that 
there were jewels of great value in the interior of this property, at a certain time 
they (the robbers) had gathered together for the purpose of devising how they 
might most easily accomplish their object. Some friend of mine had noticed them 
about the premises, and from their suspicious appearance he suspected their in- 
tention, and consequently beg:in to set watch on the property himself. At last, as 
expected, the robbers are observed by him at the quiet hour of midnight, he un- 
observed by them. My friend instantly despatches a messenger to my residence, 
say in Dundee. I am in bed, a knock comes to my door, the door is opened, the 
messenger hastily communicates the intelligence to me. Now to act with wisdom. 
"What should be my conduct in a case of this kind ? Because I do not have the 
evidence of my senses that this man's statements are true, am I to lie contentedly 
down again in my bed, asking the messenger to satisfy me first by the evidence of 
sense that he is speaking the truth ? Such would be the height of folly. Surely as 
the case affects myself, I should not rest till I had gone over to Edinburgh, in case 
(as it was not an impossibility) it might be true, that thereby I may protect my 
jewels and property. Now such is just the plan I would take with the Scriptural 
message and information it gave me. Suppose everlastiug happiness to be the 
property and the valuable jewels ; suppose heaven (by which I mean some portion 
of space in the universe where this happiness is to be enjoyed) to be the place 
where the property is ; this earth suppose to be my residence, the Bible the mes- 
senger. Well, this messenger, addressing me as a man, says '' You aie a being in 
whom is a soul that will exist for ever and ever. A being called God made you; 
he is all-powerful, therefore it is quite reasonable to believe everything to be pos- 
sible with him. If you do what I ask you, you will be happy for ever and ever ; if 
you do not, you will be miserable throughout eternity to come," Now if I can't 
prove, and if no one person or persf^^ns can prove to me, that the Scriptures are 
telling me lies, and as it concerns myself it behoves me, from the desire of ever- 
lasting happiness and from the terror of everlasting misery, to err on the safe side. 
And if these Scriptures ask me to do nothing but what is reasonable and right — if 
they do not ask me to do anythiiig that would either injure myself or my fellow- 
men, I ought to do it, unless, observe, I have the clearest and most indubitable 
evidence that these Scriptures are untrue. I think, then, that it is the part of a 
wise and sensible man to obey their commands immediately in the meantime, 
since he can't prove, nor have proved to him, that they are false. And that lest 
they should be true, I think that the belief of the whole of these Scriptures tends 
to the greatest happiness man can enjoy on earth, apart altogether from eternal 
happiness ; and their commands, if all obeyed, would purify and render holy our 
depraved hearts, enable us to bear the ills of time, and give us still to everlasting 
joys. Still, to be reasonable, if he has not any evidence of their truth he should 
cherish a spirit of honest inquiry ; and if he finds circumstantial evidence in be- 
holding what I think are the works of God — what some here may think the spon- 
taneous and necessitous result of material creation — corroborating the assertions 


of scripture, his confidence in their truth should become stronger and stronger, 
and vice versa. But until he has the clearest, sensible evidence of their falsehood, 
is he, as a wise man, justified in disregarding and disobeying the commands of 
Scripture ? I can see no evidence for the truth of atheism, but, on the contrary, 
in myself, on earth, on sea, and in the heavens do I find reasonable evidence cor- 
roborating the assertions of Scripture. I think, then, that the Scriptures of the 
Old and New Testaments are the word of the same God who is the everlasting 
Lord — the creator of angels and men, who made the beasts of the earth and made 
man* in his own image ; and though he denounces sufferings eternal on the dis- 
obedient, still to all who will obey him everlasting life and happiness. And this 
every man can ask if he will, and God has said that he who asketh in his way 
shall receive. I am in favour of free inquiry, but heart-honesty and candour 
should accompany it.' 

The reply to all this the reader will easily supply for himself. I put it on re- 
cord as a specimen of what is done by those into whose hands the ministers of 
Dundee are content to leave the defence of Christianity. 

After our young friend of the written speech, two or three other disputants 
appeared, and many objections were urged to what I had advanced. On the last 
night Mr. Davison and another gentleman were promised hearings, after a due 
opportunity had been afforded to the local clergy and other Christians. When 
the time came for them to speak the hour was late, and our chairman, to whose 
energy we had been much indebted, was inflexible, and dissolved the meeting. I 
very much regretted this, as I was anxious to hear Mr. Davison. The disap- 
pointed speakers rushed to the platform, and the meeting after them. And many 
loud reproaches resounded through the hall. The chairman pushed one disputant 
off the platform and got into a struggle with the second ; but Mr. Davison was as 
resolute in arms as in argument, and very properly resisted. I forced myself be- 
tween the chairman and him, and with moral force, blended with as much physical 
as I could exercise, I pushed back the chairman and drew my opponent forward. 
To which the chairman was a consenting party, for he was strong enough to have 
pushed us both off. By this time all the lights but one were put out. The re- 
maining one was just in front of the rostrum, and, like a policeman's ' bull's eye ' 
in a crowd, revealed to the meeting a crowdtd platform, which might have served 
Martin for a model of Chaos. ' The time is up and over,' cried the proprietor or 
agent of the room. ' What,' I demanded, ' will be the consequence of our con- 
tinuing ?' 'It will be a guinea,' answered the troubled factor. 'I will pay the 
guinea,' I rejoined, * but these gentlemen must be allowed to speak though we 
stay here all night.' I then sat down on the table, that being the only con- 
spicuous seat in front of the meeting, and assumed to myself the chairmanship. 
Before me the audience spread themselves out in the darkness of the hall like the 
surges of the Tay in a night storm, loud, angry, dark, uncertain, and tumultuous. 

As soon as silence was restored, the more noisy of the two opponents who de- 
manded a hearing had nothing to say when called upon. Mr. Davison, when he 
could speak, declined because he thought the hour too late, and the meeting too 
unsettled to be instructed, in which he was right. Having vindicated his right to 
be heard, he was contented. The meeting resumed its good humour, general satis- 
faction was expressed, the extra guinea was not demanded, and twenty or thirty of 
us adjourned after twelve o'clock to celebrate Mr. Owen's birthday over lemonade, 
no coffee being obtainable at so late an hour. G. J. Holyoake. 

* Our friend is a little confused here. This compliment was never paid to the 
beasts before. — G. J. H. 




(!^):amtnattxm of ti)e \3rti9* 

MojDEs OF Interesting the Populace. — It is idle to look back upon the time 
— if such time there ever was — when the labouring classes could be confined to 
their daily labour, leaving to their superiors the government of the nation. Pro- 
bably such a state of things never existed ; the history of all times and all coun- 
tries exhibits instances of the interference of the people in public affairs, by 
outbreaks unjust, fierce, and destructive in proportion to the ignorance of the 
multitude, and always fraught with an aggravation of the very evils they were 
intended to remove. But it is sufficient for the present purpose that such a state 
of things is incompatible with the political institutions of this country, and, in fact, 
does not exist. The Chartist and the Socialist zealously diffuse their opinions far 
and wide ; they have erected halls and established places of meeting, in which they 
discourse to thousands ; they invite persons of adverse opinions to listen to, and 
freely discuss, the expositions of their principles. The Socialists, especially, com- 
prise in the plan of their societies some of the most useful and attractive objects 
of Mechanics' Institutions ; they have lectures on the sciences, they have music, 
and, in some cases, other classes ; and they add to these the occasional attraction 
of tea-parties, accompanied by dancing. The number of members of Socialist 
institutions in London is much smaller than that of members of Mechanics' 
Institutions, but the attendance at their lectures, discussions, and festive meetings 
is much greater than at the lectures and ordinary meetings of Mechanics' Institu- 
tions ; and this is believed to arise principally from the fact that the rival institu- 
tion offers to the workmen those things the exclusion of which from Mechanics' 
Institutions (especially the right of free inquiry) renders them, if not distasteful, 
at least uninteresting to him. When, therefore, the mechanic is told, that if he 
wishes to hear the rights and duties of men, as members of society, systematically 
expounded and temperately discussed, he cannot be gratified at the Mechanics' 
Institution, surely it is equivalent to saying — 'You are curious to learn something 
respecting the economy of civil society, and to be assured of what we assert, that 
what now forms its cement is its best security : we withhold from you all informa- 
tion on these subjects; but at the Socialist hall opposite they will strive to prove 
to you how unnatural is that economy, and worthless that security.' Or 
again : he has heard men propose a change in the constitution of his country. He 
is led to believe that his interests are deeply concerned in the project; he has 
neither the time, the funds, nor the habits required to study published disquisitions 
about it, but he would be pleased to have the views of a few intelligent men who 
have been at the pains to acquaint themselves with the matter exhibited to him. 
No ; he is told — ' We explain to you the physical sciences ; we demonstrate to you 
the atomic theory ; we show you the orbits of the planets ; — but the nature and 
advantages of our political constitution, a question which every newspaper more 
or less raises, and which is obtruded upon you and made a motive for your con- 
duct at every election, shall not be taught or discussed here : nevertheless the 
Chartists in the next street handle it quite freely, and will spare no pains to 
induce you to adopt their opinions.' Thus we content ourselves with deploring 
the errors of the lab"ouring classes, instead of striving to remove those errors even 
when ready means of doing so present themselves to us. — Report of Mechanics' 
Institutions, by Thomas Coates (pp. 29-31). Society for the Diffusion of Useful 
Knowledge. 1841. 


Total Eclipse of the Industry of all Nations ! — Should the Great Ex- 
hibition be repeated a few years hence, the Machinery department may perhaps 
be enriched with an invention which will put the nose ot Friar Eicon's Brazen 
Head quite out of joint. Mr. Alfred Smee, nuthor of a work on ' Electro-Biology,' 
has just published another volume, entitled ' The Process of Thought,' wherein be 
says, that — 'From the laws which have been already detailed, it is apparent that 
thought is amenable to fixed piinciples. By taking advantage of these principles, 
it occurred to me that mechanical contrivances might be formed which should 
obey similar laws, and give those results which some may have considered only 
obtainable by the operation of the mind itself.' In plain terms, Mr. Smee con- 
ceives it possible to construct a thinking apparatus ; and he actually talks of a 
'rational' and a ' differential machine,' by whose combined action he proposes to 
imitate the operations of the mind. If Mr. Smee can bring these contrivances of 
his to bear, he will confer a great boon upon the insane; as those who have lost 
their wits will then perhaps be enabled to have artificial brains made for them, as 
easily as a person who has sutTered amputation is supplied with a wooden leg. 
Advertisements will invite our attention to 'An Entirely New Description of 
Intellectual Faculties,' or 'A New Discovery in Braia?,' or Mr. So and So's 
'Patent Cerebral Succedaneum, Warranted Never to Decay or Fall Out.' The 
progressive perfection of mental machinery will render it applicable to purposes 
of greater and greater delicacy, and we shall have automatic poets and musicians — 
mechanical Shaksperes and Beethovens — actuated by steam and electricity, instead 
of genius; and excelling live bards and composers as much as a power loom excels 
a hand loom. Cabinets will be literally constructed, by au improvement in 
cabinet-making, and the functions of Parliament will be executed by instruments 
evolving legislative wisdom. — Punch. 

Eastern Unitarian Christian Society. — The thirty-eighth Anniversary 
of this society was held on the 26th ult., at the Old Meeting, Gaol Street. The 
Rev. Henry Knott, of Bury St, Edmund's, delivered a discourse before the asso- 
ciation, after which the congregation adjourned to a luncheon at the Crown and 
Anchor. The interest of the meeting was considerably enhanced by the presence 
of George Dawson, Esq., the Revds. J. Cronipton, F. Macdonald, etc. The re- 
port of the association was read by the secretary, J. W. Dowson, Esq. A new 
feature of interest presented itself in the recommendation of the establishment of 
a local missionary, chapel libraries, &c. An interesting discussion ensued on 
some views advanced by the Rev. J. CrOmpton, who strongly inculcated the duty 
of encouraging a more catholic spirit, and suggested that by discontinuing the sec- 
tarian term Unitarian, an opening would be made for the admission of those who 
were prevented from joining the association in consequence of its title. The sub- 
ject, however, dropped without any resolution being formally put. In the even- 
ing a party of about 130 ladies and gentlemen sat down to tea in the Corn Ex- 
change, the Rev. Henry Squire in the chair. Mr. George Dawson, in his usual 
terse and vigorous style, addressed the meeting, touching upon a great variety of 
topics, and among others that of the Great Exhibition, of the results of which he 
did not entertain very high expectations He objected to the parade of the names 
of the employers to the exclusion of the working men, and he complained that 
there were no representatives of the people at the opening. The Re v. J. Crompton 
addressed the meeting at some length on the subject of the fugitive slave law in 
America; and a resolution condeuinaiory of the law was carried unanimously. 


d^e Pr0flrE55 at tijc HEntcIUct. 

Of all the valuable works which Mr. Chapman has given to the public, none are 
more valualile than Robert Mackay's 'Progress of the Intellect.' Sdiolarlj', ye^ 
enthusiastic — contemplative, yet vigorous — his powers work together with a fusion 
rare in one so gifted. His book is alike free from dogmatism or rhetoric; he 
neither abuses others' orthodoxy nor apologises for his own heresy ; he is too much 
in earnest to wander from the road on such errands. But he analyses the very 
marrow of religion, philosophy, and belief, with the relentless searchingness of 
one who is determined not to rest while there is one ray of Truth to light his 
work. And his results are presented in language clear as mountain air, and 
radiant with intellectual beauty. Never, perhaps, was heresy more entrancing, or 
philosophy more majestic. 

Ill health prevents me from attempting even the humblest analysis of the book; 
but I have extracted some of its finest passages for the benefit of those who may 
be unable to afford its high price. It needs only to add, that its main object is to 
aid in determining the Philosophy of Mythology— Greek, Hebrew, and Chrictian. 
The work is in two volumes, and is divided into ten parts, as follows : — 

I. Intellectual Religion VII. Hebrew Theory of Retribution 

II. Ancient Cosmogony and Immortality 

III. Notion of God, Metaphysically VIII. Notion of a Supernatural Mes- 

IV. Notion of God, Morally siah 

V. On the Theory of Mediation IX. Christian Forms and Reforms 

VI. Hebrew Theory of Mediation X. Speculative Christianity 

The first extract is condensed from the Preface, and will indicate the author's 
aim in his own words. The second is a condensation of Section 7, on Intellectual 
Religion. The foot-notes are abundant throughout the work, and refer to the 
numerous authors of all times and countries, whom Mr. Mackay calls to bear 
witness to ' the progress of the intellect,' and the majesty of truth. 


MYTHOLOGY OF MODERN SOCIETY. influence has now been partially re- 
The study of mythology seems to be moved, we are able to see more clearly 
nearly abandoned amongst us except as its sources and effects. The understand- 
a trifling matter of school routine. We ing, like the eye, requires instruments 
value ourselves on knowledge of facts, to work with, and even now the severest 
and parade our indifference for fables, experimentalist is greatly indebted to 
Yet this is affecting a superiority to imagination for the means of gaining 
which we have little riglit. and expressing his conclusions. Some- 
While we smile at past follies, the thing of the painful and arbitrary is in- 
mythical element still holds its ground, separable from all forms of thought, and 
not only in the opinions but even in the mythology is a useful warning against 
philosophy of the present. the error which was its essence, that of 
In this consists the lasting interest of assigning reality to impressions, of ccn- 
what is, by way of eminence, called my- founding the inner sense with the ex- 
thology. It is but the exaggerated re- ternal development, 
flection of our own intellectual habits. The most serious consequence of piis- 
An extreme instance is understood more understanding the forms of ancient 
easily than that which is familiar on a thought and expression is the estrange- 
diminished scale. In times when the ment between religious theory and corn- 
mythical element predominated, extend- mon practice characteristic of our dny. 
ing over many subjects from whence its St. Paul arrived at his idea of a justify- 



ing faith hy reversing the natural course 
of thought; he argued from conceptions 
to facts instead of from facts to concep- 
tions. The dogmatical theology derived 
from him has busied itself more with 
his conceptional machinery than his 
essential meaning. Hence the wide 
gulf between action and belief, which 
diverge, not only in their moral applica- 
tion, but in theoretic principle. Action 
assumes the natural relation of cause 
and effect, while religious profession is 
•wholly mystical ; the latter is based on 
a notion of magic, the other on that of 
science. The practical issue of the con- 
tradiction is compromise ; to make up 
for lack of performance by unjustifiable 
appeals to Jupiter ; adopting a principle 
for Sundays different from that sug- 
gested by every-day experience, neither 
heartily accepting the new philosophy 
nor remaining consistently faithful to 
the old. To bring morals and religion 
together by reconciling faith and prac- 
tice, all that would seem to be required 
is to ascertain what the nature of the 
divine government really is ; and if it 
be impossible there to discover any in- 
consistency, at once to discard the ano- 
maly gratuitously introduced into hu- 
man thought and practice. 

It seems but too clear that the only 
way to better things lies through the 
labyrinth of theological controversy. In 
order to convince ourselves of what re- 
ligion is, we must first become fully 
aware of what it is not. To the public 
such discussions are naturally distaste- 
ful, and that not only on account of the 
abstruse nature of the questions raised, 
and probably also from an instinctive 
appreciation of their comparative worth- 
lessness, but in the presumption that 
the official depositories of the sacred 
oracles, knowing already all that can be 
known about them, are fully equal and 
faithful to their trust. But the prin- 
ciple of deputation may be carried too 
far. It is not every physician, even 
supposing him to be fully master of his 
profession, who will venture to prescribe 
an unpalatable remedy. If we neglect 
our own spiritual interests, we cannot 
be surprised if they miscarry. That 
they have so is clear, since the trustees 
are at issue among themselves, and many 
of them openly abandon their charge 
and church. Ir, is hard to be called to 
do personally what we imagined had 

already been effectually done by deputy, 
but there is no alternative. It is like 
being enrolled for the militia, trouble- 
some but necessary. Yet, after all, the 
task, if resolutely taken up, will be found 
easier than we thought. 

In this, as in many other cases, the 
real difficulty is not in the subject, but 
in fallacies of perverted ingenuity. Men 
deify brutes, their fellow-beings, their 
own ideas. In the break-up of old faiths 
some fall back upon a worship of form, 
while others take refuge in wild senti- 
mentality. There are people whose re- 
ligion consists in self-torture; who ex- 
clude themselves from the world, or 
think to please God by giving up to 
what they suppose to be his service 
something whose loss is felt to be in- 
jurious to their health or business; by 
consecrating a day out of the week to 
peculiar ceremonies, by fasting or other 
penance. Such extravagances result 
from misconceiving the character of the 
Deity and the relation in which we stand 
to him ; from forgetting that religion 
tasks the whole man — not exacting a 
service of mere sentiment or imagina- 
tion which reason disowns, but directing 
all the faculties to act in unison for the 
agent's good. The ancients were as the 
eagle intently gazing on what he wants 
strength to reach : we are the owls 
blinking at the first daylight, which, 
however, we are slowly learning to sup- 
port. Our spiritual light is still sadly 
dimmed by Gothic windows and still 
more Gothic traditions; but clouds do 
not extinguish the light of heaven, re- 
ligion will outlive theology, its lamp will 
be kindled afresh and burn brighter 
than before. 


The basis of all our real knowledge is 
the reliance we place on the constancy 
and precision of nature. Nothing could 
be truly learned, nor any value attached 
to experience, but for the invariable 
connection of cause and effect, and the 
certainty and fixity of the laws of crea- 
tion. When providential government 
is admitted to be regular and unde- 
viating, then, and then only, is an unli- 
mited field of exertion and education 
opened to the intellect. 

Even the Chaldees would have aban- 
doned their observatories in despair if 




they had really credited the miracle of 
the dial of Ahaz, and there would be 
little prospect of obtaining any certainty 
in regard to the laws of meteorology if 
real eflBcacy could be supposed to attach 
to occasional petitions for rain or fine 

Science is the intellectual tribute to 
religion, for its office is essentially sub- 
servient to religious and moral practice, 
the knowledge of the true being imme- 
diately convertible into the doing of the 
right. The systematised records of ex- 
perience, to which we give the name of 
science, are unsatisfying to man as a 
merely contemplative being, but exactly 
suited to his wants as an active and 
moral one. They teach him, not what 
is absolutely true, but what is true rela- 
tively to himself. He imbibes from ex- 
perience a general sense of obligation 
simultaneously with the perception of 
truth, at first by that involuntary sug- 
gestion which resembles instinct, and 
afterwards through deliberate and self- 
conscious inferences. Nature, both 
within and without, has ever a definite 
aim, and inevitably makes him feel the 
powerful instrumentality by which she 
ensures the general accomplishment of 
her object. He is surrounded by incite- 
ments on the one hand and by checks 
and limitations on the other — being 
hemmed in, as it were, by circumstances, 
so as to be in some degree protected 
from injuring himself or others by wan- 
ton or involuntary indiscretions. But, 
until the understanding is developed, 
the economy of his being is unsafe and 
imperfect. A man's most important 
education begins at the maturity of his 
faculties, the time at which it is commonly 
supposed to end — when, for the first 
time, he becomes fully aware of the mean- 
ing and intimate connection between 
truth and duty, and when, from elemen- 
tary pupilage, he may be said to be 
launched into the great school of the 
universe, where knowledge, self-interest, 
and sentiment, co-operating, lead him 
more securely in the path of duty and 

At first, all science appears merged 
in religion; afterwards, religion is, as it 
were, swallowed up in science. In pro- 
portion as men become familiar with 
the details of causation, language ceases 
to indulge in the vague generalities of 
religious poetry, and is ever more precise 

and less mystical as knowledge becomes 
more accurate and full. Every grade of 
knowledije has its appropiiate expres- 
sion. Thus, what to an oriental mystic 
would be a plague of Egypt, or out- 
pouring of divine wrath, gradually as- 
sumes the more homely name of a 
simoom or blight, and by a modern 
naturalist is further particularised as a 
peculiar development of electricity, an 
attack of animalcules or fungi. In 
both modes of expression a divine mover 
is equally contemplated — for no one 
more deeply feels the necessity of an 
intelligent cause than the student of 
nature, who sees throughout her empire 
a code of uniform procedure, ascertain- 
able, and therefore dictated by reason. 
The more this agency is defined and 
understood, the more is its reality felt 
and its wisdom appreciated. Nay, it 
may be said that the religious sentiment 
can be matured only through scientific 
cultivation, since the more we know the 
more we venerate, and the reverence 
which is the joint result of sentiment 
and knowledge can alone survive the 
attacks of change or time, as being 
never chained to an obsolete opinion or 
an immoral practice. The causes of 
the degeneracy of science have been 
always the same as those which per- 
verted religion. They consist in the 
estrangement of the one from the other, 
and of both from the understanding. 
Science and religion miscarried partly 
through the subjection of the intellect to 
the senses, partly through the involun- 
tary pride which induced the mind to 
insulate its results, and to rely prema- 
turely upon itself. The prejudices of 
the senses and the prejudices of opinion 
were equally unfavourable in both cases. 
The ancients failed in their science 
because they paid more regard to words 
and notions than to things, and in their 
religion because they believed they had 
become acquainted with the universal 
cause when they assigned to it an exis- 
tence and a name, or sought an alliance 
with it in mystical rapture. They 
either hoped, like Moses, to obtain a 
manifestation of the deity to the eye, ot- 
to create an adequate image of him 
within the bounds of the isolated under- 
standing. It was only through the ima- 
gination that they could hope tp pass 
the interval between earth and heaven, 
for as yet there was no solid pathway 



for the reason. They had a vague feel- 
ing that the universe is governed by- 
eternal laws of justice; but the impres- 
sion was only a rude antici]ifition of the 
leaitimate discovery, an inference from 
the analogy of human government — and 
therefore often confounded with arbi- 
trary volition or chance — not from an 
acquaintance with the government of 
nature. Even if they could have been 
aware of the existence of natural law in 
its true meaning, they knew not how to 
study or decypher it, so that it was still 
a mystery inoperative as a guide to deli- 
berate choice and action. The stoical 
maxim, 'to live agreeably to nature,' 
was the nearest approach of antiquity to 
a perfect moral code : its defect was the 
impossibility of applying it when the 
study of nature was arrested, and when 
anticipated notions were assumed as 
final ciiteria of truth and right. Vi- 
sionary theories were thus adopted by 
rival sects, and, while each had its 
element ot truth, the Stoic erred on one 
side as much as the Epicurean on the 
other. If nature be a tyftem ot regula- 
rity and hiw, we must, in order to live 
agreeably to it, become acquainted with 
its laws; in other words, we must gain 
experience, and that not only in the 
ordinary sense of practical or worldly 
wisdom, but in its methodised form as 
science — the intellectual part of religion 
being only the gaining accurate expe- 
riences, reduced to general principles so 
as to be readily available, and accom- 
panied by such a clear view of the 
resulting obligations as may ensure the 
realisation of its lessons. Relijiion, 
including morality, is therefore no more 
than well-directed education ; and as 
the basis of all education n)ust be the 
notion formed respecting the sources 
ot knowledge and sanctions of duty, the 
first great education question is the 
essentially-religious one, how or upon 
what principles is the world governed? 
or rather, is it governed upon any prin- 

ciple, since observances of prayer and 
belief in miracles inevitably tend to 
countenance the idea that the divine 
go'fernment is no more than a capricious 
exercise of grace and favour ? Every 
duty, once ascertained, becomes obviously 
a rtligions duty, and the same sacred 
character appertains to every process 
for discovering its criteria with more 
ease and precision. That there should 
have ever been a doubt about the real 
evidences of these criteria can only have 
resulted from a delusion such as that 
which makes a savage fall down before 
the block of his own manipulation. 
The foundations of the right and good 
must be sought for in the legislation of 
nature, as the limits of social propriety 
are laid down in municipal regulations. 
Those general arrangements which, per- 
ceived either in ibe physical or moral 
world, baffle inquiry into their causes, 
are provisionally assumed as law.s of 
nature, that is, as ultimate expressions 
of adivine volition, conveying to us such 
a partial knowledge of the universal 
orcier as may be a suflBcient guide in 
cases beyond the reach of instinct. The 
first elements of the task of discovering 
them are easy, but its range is the in- 
tellectual business ot eternity. On the 
preliminary scene of the dranm ot men- 
tal dovelopnient each individual pursues, 
with more or less aid from precedinj^ 
experience, his appointed task, a humble 
one perhaps in itself, yet glorious when 
con.'-idered as part of an endless career 
of improvement, a contribution to that 
eternal monument, the great wonder of 
the modern world, which, though often 
exposed like those of Babel or Memphis 
to interruption and dilapidation, is unlike 
them and the philosophical and religious 
systems of which ihty may be regarded 
as types, for ever repaired and renewed, 
slowly but surely rising towards the un- 
oflended heavens through the co-opeia- 
tiou ot diversified tribes and tongues. 

[To be concluded in next number.] 



Our piaKarm. 

From which any earnest opponent may controvert our opinion?, and from which any may expound views 
not coincident with our own, it tending to the Rationalisation of TUeologv, 


Sib, — In Reasoncr No. 270, the Rev. Mr. Fleming endeavours to free the Divine 
character from imputation with reference to the crucifixion of Christ. This 
reverend gentleman states that the Death of Christ was, on his part, voluntary, 
free, and self-chosen, and therefore cannot tell against the Divine character; by 
which we are to understand that Deity could not possess that purity ascribed to 
him and have caused or compelled Christ's death. Now as it was voluntary on 
Christ's part, if he had thought fit the crucifixion might not have taken place, and 
consequently the world have been unredeemed unto this day. Then what is to 
become of the saying continually heard from the pulpits, namely, ' without shed- 
ding of blood there is no remission of sins?' 

Mr. Fleming, in representing Christ's death as self-chosen, represents it as 
unnecessary, because that which is inevitable cannot be voluntary ; he therefore 
contradicts both theology and Christ's own words, where he says to his disciples 
*0h fools, and slow of heart. Ousht not Christ to have suffered these things?' 
And ' beginning at Moses and all the Prophets, he expounded unto them in all the 
Scriptures the things concerning himself.' If his death was voluntary and might 
not have been, then the whole of the Prophesies referring thereto might have been 
false, and consequently could not be any foundation for the inspiration of the Scrip- 
tures. But Christ seemed to be of a different opinion as to the voluntaryism of 
his death, when he said 'Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me;' 
clearly showing that so far as he was concerned he would rather not have suf- 
fered, and that he died because it was not possible for him to avoid it. But our 
spiritual pastors tell us of the promise that the seed of the woman shall bruise the 
serpent's head. The Pi-ophet Isaiah speaks more like an historian than a prophet, 
where he says ' unto us a child is born,' and that he was wounded for our transgres- 
sions, bruised for our iniquities, that the chastisement of our peace was upon him, 
and with his stripes we are healed. It is said that the parting his garments was to 
fulfil the Scriptures, that Christ chose one of the twelve, being a devil, the son of 
perdition, and that Satan entered into him for the purpose. Will Mr. Fleming 
say there was any voluntaryism in all this on the part of Christ Jesus? If not, 
then he must find some other foundation on which to defend the divine attributes. 

Mr. Fleming would seem to teach that God's secret decrees could not influence 
the moral conduct of men. Then will he tell us how, seeing that the soldiers 
should part Christ's garments and cast lots on his vesture, they could do other- 
wise; or that when the Romans had to pierce his side and give him vinegar to 
drink, they could do otherwise ? Why, we are told by Christ that those things 
were done that the Scriptures might be fulfilled. It cannot alter the necessity of 
the case that the actors might be ignorant of God's secret purposes, for whatever 
might be their motives the divine purposes of God could not be averted by 

Will Mr. Fleming show how Deity can positively know that such and such 
events mil come to pass, that men will think and act in a certain manner, and that 
these events can possibly not come to pass ? Christ said that these things mast 
needs be (meaning, I suppose, these events and actions); and if they were to be, 
I suppose the actors were compelled to obey God's revealed will, or they would 
have been in opposition to his secret purpose; they must therefore have been dis- 



,posed to do what was planned according to the eternal counsels of God before the 
world began — where, in some cases, the very men are pointed out. In fine, Mr. 
Fleming, in admitting that God had secret purposes and decrees on the greatest 
events, and on the death and resurrection of Christ, admits that if the Scriptures 
be true, Christ had no voluntary, free, spontaneous self-choice in the matter, and 
God therefore could not be Love, Truth, and Justice on his (Mr. Fleming's) 
grounds. I submit then, in conclusion, that such reasoners as Mr. Fleming 
must ever fail to convince the atheist of the attributes of Deity from Scripture, 
or of the falsehood of that moral philosophy which objects to the crucifixion of a 
child by its parent. X. 


Sir, — I do not know to what class of Christians your correspondent, Henry 
Norrington, belongs. I infer from his letter that he does not believe the Bible to 
be a revelation from a God as generally understood. I infer that he rejects what 
is inconsistent with his own feelings of truth. Now in this case I cannot see that 
the Bible (only so far as it contains moral truth) can be of more value than any 
other book. He writes in a liberal spirit, and is worthy all courtesy and attention. 
He conceives that your abilities are misapplied. For, says he, ' In attempting to 
destroy Christianity you must remember you are destroying all the goodness and 
virtue that it embraces, as well as its supposed evils.' A quotation from your 
'Logic of Death ' will, I think, refute this statement. On the fifth page he will find 
— ' To me it is an axiom that there is nothing higher than morality : therefore, 
whatever I find in the Bible below morality (and I find much), I reject — what I 
find above it, I suspect — what I find coincident with morality (whether in the 
Old Testament or the New), I retain. I make Morality a standard. It is there- 
fore that I call myself a Moralist rather than a Christian. It seems to me that 
there is nothing in Christianity which will bear the test of discussion or the face 
of day, nothing whereby it can lay hold of the world and move it, which is not 
coincident with morality. Therefore morality has all the strength of Christianity 
without the mystery and bigotry of the Bible.' 

If instead of this — 'Instinct, and all but universal assent, proclaim the Great 
First Cause ; and an opinion so widely, deeply, and long assented to, has its 
foundations in a truth that cannot be safely ignored ' — he had said 'Man's igno- 
rance and curiosity have called into being Gods and rulers of this world (for there 
are Lords many and Gods many), which invocation, becoming popular and of 
selfish interest to the people, backed by a multitude of men called priests (who 
live upon the credulity ot the people) who have instilled this dogma into the 
minds of men from their earliest youth, that it has become to be received by fet- 
tered minds almost as an instinct ' — I think this would have been nearer the mark. 

He says that infidelity is preferable to devils, hell fire, and the like — which he 
will find taught in the Bible. He seems to forget that Christianity had its birth 
in immorality. Does he not remember the miraculous conception ? unnatural, 
impossible, and contrary to all scientific knowledge. Does he forget that God's 
vengeance was appeased by a vicarious sacrifice — or will he say that these are not 
parts of Christianity, when the mass of Christians hold them as the bulwark of 
their faith ? E. 

[We wish papers on the Independence of Morality, setting forth the grounds 
thereof, which will form the most useful answer. — Ed.] 





SiE, — The Archseological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland held their 
annual meeting in Bristol this year. Amongst other papers read in the sections was 
one by E. A. Freeman, Esq., of Trin. Coll., Oxon, on the ' Preservation and Re- 
storation of Ancient Monuments,' in wliich he laid down as a principle that it was 
nothing short of pure, unmitigated Vandalism to interfere in anyway with ancient 
works of art— whether they were castles, churches, temples, sculptures, or anything 
of the kind— to restore them, or to remove them from their original position in 
situ, with a view to their preservation. He denounced Lord Elgin in severe 
terms, and by no means approved of Layard's proceedings, although it is known, 
from the nature of the material, that a few showers of rain would effectually re- 
move all traces of sculpture from the Niraroud marbles 

Well, sir, you will perceive from what follows that this opinion of Mr. Free- 
man is an established principle with arcbseologists generally. They venerate the 
past to such a degree that, whatever may be its faults, they would not mend them 
for the world: 'touch not, handle not,' is their motto. A Mr. Warner read a 
paper on Tyndale's New Testament, after which a Member, in the course of other 
remarks, said, ' He had seen an advertisement, some years since, of a Bible — a new 
translation of the Bible — with 20,000 emendations ; why, in this, errors might 
creep in, not only of doctrine, but of philological criticism. Their duty as Chris- 
tians and as archaeologists would lead them to oppose that translation.' After 
which J. S. Harford, Esq., D.C.L., of Blaze-castle, near Bristol, said that, as 
President of the Archaeological Institute on this occasion, he should not be dis- 
charging his duty to the public were he not to express his conviction that with 
respect to the authorised translation of the Bible, there was the most deep re- 
verence for that translation, not only throughout the members of the Church of 
England, but of the great body of Dissenters, and that if there was a proposal 
brought forward for a new translation, as far as his knowledge of the sentiments 
both of the Church and of the great body of Dissenters went, he was convinced it 
would meet with the strongest and most unqualified opposition. He would speak 
but humbly as a scholar, but, as far as his acquaintance with the Greek language 
went, he could not conceive a translation so faithful to the sense of the original 
as their authorised translation. He was peifectly aware that there were many 
particular expressions where some slight alteration might be introduced with 
advantage, but he would oppose any proposition of the kind, because they were not 
in general important points, and therefore any alteration of the translation in such 
a way might lead to a great many more, and produce the effects which had been 
very properly objected to. He had made these few observations because he felt 
that, perhaps, some impression might go forth to the public, from the observations 
of the learned member of the institute, which he was sure he did not mean to 
convey, that there was amongst the members of the institute a disposition for such 

Now, sir, after reading the above, am I not justified in considering the Bible an 
archaeological curiosity ? The authorised versions of the Old and New Testaments 
have the hoar of two centuries upon them, and they are dedicated to that ' triple- 
piled-ass,' James, as Pemberton designates him. For two hundred years millions 
have been placing implicit confidence in the power of a certain book, said to con- 
tain God's word, and no mistake, to secure them an eternity of happiness when they 
die ; but this book is now said to contain twenty thousand errors, and some of them of 



the greatest moment. ' What of that ?' say the archseologists ; ' if you correct those 
20,000 errors you are not sure you will not leave or make others. Leave the book 
alone. You shall not touch it. Renovation is desecration. The errors and ruins 
of the past are our exclusive property — we j-everence and adore them — the greater 
the ruin the greater the beauty; and any infidel attempt to restore the Bible to 
that pui'ity which increased knowledge of the languages in which it was written 
(which would now be an easy task) shall " meet with our strongest and most un- 
qualifed opposition. " We will guard its errors with jealous care; and if men 
should come to despise it as a lie, because of those errors, we will love it the more 
because it is a lie of the past; and would rather see it perish from off the face of the 
earth than a single word or point should be altered in it!' Oh wonderful savans! 
Oh venerable Dryasdusts! "You may as well entomb yourself in an Egyptian 
catacomb, in the vain hope that the world will stop revolving because of your 
absence from the light, as imagine that anything will any more be held so sacred 
as to be exempt from criticism and exposure and correction, if needs be. The 
amended Bible has been published for some time, and I feel pleasure in saying 
that I have found some Christians who are not archaeologists, and who think it a 
commendable thing to correct any errors that may be discovered in the translation 
of what they consider the word of God. Mr. Harford is, par excellence, one who 
would have all education based on the Bible, and yet who would oflfer his * strongest 
and most unqualified opposition' to any attempt to impart secular education, or to 
correct the errors in the clsss-book he would force upon all parties! Mr. H. 
has been a candidate for a seat in parliament once oi* twice — how admirably 
qualified for the office I 
Bristol, August 2, 1851. W. Chilton. 


SlE, — On Sunday morning, June 29t,h, the Reverend Mr. Duncan, while 
preaching in the Presbyterian Chapel, North Shields, uttered the following in- 
comprehensible sentence: — 'The Temperance Movement, the Peace Move- 
ment, and Sanitary Reform, are all atheistic in their character(!). The whole 
is an attempt to take the regeneration of man out of God's hands.' It is pain- 
ful to hear remarks like these from educated men; they place themselves in the 
position of the dog in the manger — they will not work in the cause of human pro- 
gress themselves. The spirit of Mr. Duncan's sermon amounted to this, that 
heaven was not for the industrious labourers in the cause of human progress, but 
for lazy believers, who sit in their easy chairs waiting for the millennium coming. 
It is a pity that the reverend gentleman should have lived so long and not disco- 
vered the truth of the adage, ' God helps none but those who help themselves.* 

John Richards. 

[We are certainly indebted to Mr. Duncan for assigning three such excellent 
movements to us. — Ed.] 


Sir, — Though I have for some time been silent, I have not been altogether idle. 
Since I last communicated with you I have regularly taken four copies weekly of 



the Reasoner, one of which I preserve for binding, the other three being circulated. 
The trncts are read with much interest. There are now three booksellers in 
Poplar in the windows of whose shops the Reasoner may be seen — Elliott of Penny- 
fields, Brown of High Street, Stout of Victoria Place, West India Eoad. One of 
these told me, some time ago, that he was frequently asked to dispose of iny copies 
(he supplies me) from the window ; and I debired him at all times to sell them 
when asked, and get me others. 

I shall certainly adopt your suggestion of taking my own private copy in 
monthly parts. I frequently, in accepting of a religious tract from the distributors 
at the railway stations and elsewhere, give a Reasoner in exchange. Indeed I sel- 
dom go out without a few in my pocket for distribution. 


J^faSancr Prnjjagantfa. 

To promote the ellciency of the Rensnner as an organ of Propajandisra, one frienJ subscribes lOs. 
weekly, ano;her 53., one 2s. monthly, others Is. each weekly— otiiers intermediate sums or special 
reraittanees, according to ability or earnestness. An annual enntribution of Is. from each reader 
would he easy, equitable, and sufficient. What is remitted, in whatever proportion, is acknowledged 
here and accounted lor at the end of the Volume. 

Acknowledged in No. 272, 57l3. 2d.— Mr. Todd, Newcastle-on-Tyne, Is.— Mr. 
Bedlington, Middlesbro', 23. — George Watson, do., 2s. — George Grant, do.. Is. — 
A Friend, do., Is. — Piobert Thursfield, do.. Is. — A Friend, do., Is. — John Wilson, 
Stockton-on-Tees, 23.— James Gray, Is. 4d. — Total, 583s. 6d. 


Literary Institution, John Street, Fitzroy Square. 
— August 21th [7i], Robert Cooper, 'The Mon- 
ster Nuisance of the Age— what is it?' — 26th [8,^], 
Discussion in the Coffee Room. Question, ' The 
Respective Merits of Free Trade and Protection.' 

Hall of Science, City Road. — August 24th [7^], 
a lecture. 

National Hall, 242, High Holborn.— Aug. 24th, 
[8], P. W. Perfitt will lecture. 

Eclectic Institute, Denmark Street, Soho. — 
Every Friday [8J], Mr. J. B. O'Brien, ' Home and 
Foreign Politics.' Every Sunday [7^], on ' Moral 
and Social Science.' 

Areopagus Cotfee and Reading Room, 59, Church 
Lane, VV'hitechapel, — Every Sunday, Monday, and 
Wednesday (8), a Lecture or Discussion. 

City Forum Coffee House, 60, Red Cross Street. 
— Every Sunday, Monday, and Thursday [8iJ], a 

Commercial Hall, Philpot Street, Commercial 
Road East. — Every Tuesday and Thursday even- 
iiig [8], a Discussion. 

City Road Discussion Society, 22, City Road. — 
Discussion every Wednesday evening. 



Theodore Parker on Matters Pertaining to 
Religion. 1 vol. cloth boards 1 9 

Cooper's Purgatory of Suicides. 1 vol. 

cloth lettered 3 6 

To be had in Parts and Numbers. 

Cooper's Wise Saws and Modern Instances. 

2 vols, cloth lettered 5 

Cooper's Baron's Yule Feast. Wrapper.. 1 6 
Cooper's Eifiht Letters to the Young Men 

of the Working Classes 6 

Cooper's Journal. 1 vol. cloth 3 

Do. Captain Cobler, or the Lincolnshire 

Insurrection. 1 vol 2 6 

Cerebral Physiology and Materialism. Bv 

W. C. Engledue, M.D ". 2 

Doubts of Infidels o 3 

Paine's Political Works. 2 vols, in one.. 5 

— Theological Works. 1 vol. cloth . 3 

— Rights of Man 1 2 

— American Crisis 1 6 

— Common Sense 6 

— Letter to the Abbe Raynal o 6 

— Letters to the Citizens of the United 
States 4 

— Public Good 4 

— Agrarian Justice 2 

— First Principles of Government .... 2 

— English System of Finance 3 

— Abolition of Royalty 2 

Life of Paine, by W. J. Linton 6 

Portrait of Paine, engraved on Steel 1 

The Knglish Ri-public, edited by W. J. 

Linton. Nos. 1 to 7, each at 6 

Byron's V^ision of Judgment 2 

Southey's Wat Tyler 3 

Essay on the Functions of the Brain 2 

London ; James Watson, 3, Queen's Head Pas- 
sage, Pateinoster-row. 



<Bxir Open ^age. 

The Times, of Feb. 28th, 1844, remarked — 'We have been favoured with a copy 
of a pamphlet entitled " An Appeal to the Members of the Society for Promoting 
Christian Knowledge, on doctrinal changes lately introduced into the series of 
tracts circulated under their authority." The author's censures are levelled 
against a tract — or, more properly speaking, against the Society for countenancing 
a tract — written by the Bishop of Chester, on the " Doctrine of Justification by 
Faith only," which is said to exhibit a view of that doctrine wholly at variance 
with that taken by the great body of Anglican divines. It should be remembered, 
then, that a society constituted, as this is, on purely voluntary principles, and 
composed of members of all shades of opinions, must necessarily conduct its 
operations on very different principles from those on which a church is entitled to 
act. A church governs its members — a society is governed by them. In the 
former, the several degrees of dignity secure order and obedience — in the latter, a 
layman is on an equality with a bishop. It is obvious, therefore, that where dif- 
ferences of opinions exist — and in what society do they not ? — those who hold them 
must, if they would work together, consent to lay aside their points of dispute, and 
confine themselves to those upon which they are agreed. If they do otherwise, 
they cease to be a society. We say this is what common sense suggests: but, un- 
fortunately, the heat of controversy stimulates a more arbitrary course, and aims 
at securing the predominance of one or other party at the expense of the common 
consistency. Yet who does not see that such a course as this must be the ruin of 
any society, and especially of one which professes to teach Christian knowledge ? 
People will say — "First of all, gentlemen, settle among yourselves what is Chris- 
tian knowledge, and then we shall be happy to listen to you." The Society, we 
believe, consists exclusively of members of the Church of England— is thtre 
really no point of doctrine or practice which they can promulgate in common ?' 

On the second day of the Peace Congress at Exeter Hall, the Rev. Henry 
Garnett said—' Even within the last few days he had seen a missionary pamphlet, 
in which the necessity of an army to support the missionaries on the coast of 
Africa was urged with all the power of the writer. He could not help asking him- 
self, upon reading it, what sort of a religion, what sort of Christianity was that 
which required to be enforced at the point of the bayonet ?' 

Will ' A Minister's Son ' favour us with his name and address. 

A District of the National Charter Association has been formed at Hoxton, 
called the ' Hoxton Chartist Locality.' The meetings take place every Thursday 
evening, at a quarter past eight o'clock, at the Hope Coffee House, 18, Bridport 
Place, New North Road. 

Of German epigrams. Dr. Bowring renders these examples : — 

'You wish for age, yet fear to die ; 
Is pain, then, sweeter than tranquility ?' 

' Many have died on valour's field, 
And many a man disease has killed; 
But lust, and wine, and luxury call 
To death's dark mansion more than all.' 

London; Printed by Holyoake Brothers, 3, Queen's Head Passage, Patemoster-row ; and Published 
by J. Watson, 3, Queen's Head Passage, Paternoster-row.— Wednesday, August 20th, 1851. 



They who believe that they have Truth ask no favour, save that of being heard : they dare the 
judgment of Mankind : refused Co-operation, they invoke Opposition, for Opposition is their 
Opportunity. — Editor. 


(from the ' WHITEHAVEN HEEALD.') 

Me. Holyoake from London, editor of the Reasoner, has been delivering a course 
of lectures in the Theatre, in this town, during the present week (ending August 
16.) The first lecture was delivered on Tuesday evening, and was, as stated in the 
advertisement, an ' Examination of the moral innocency of speculative opinions 
where conscientiously entertained, with a view to determine how far a man may 
dissent from the religious belief of his neighbours, and yet live in Truth and die 
in Peace;' and the second was delivered on the evening following (Wednesday), 
the subject being ' Catholicism the actual type of the churches around us, and 
their influences upon society examined.' 

First Lecture. 
Mr. Holyoake commenced his first lecture by stating the difficulty he expe- 
rienced in presenting a new subject to his auditory, in doing justice to the integrity 
of individual conviction without wounding, what ought never to be wounded wan- 
tonly, the conscientious opinions of others. His purpose was to show that a certain 
moral innocence attached to all opinions, and that an honest man might hope to 
live in truth and die in peace, though difi'ering with his neighbours upon speculative 
points. The history of religious opinion in this country, said Mr. Holyoake, 
showed that this truth had been acknowledged some two centuries ago throughout 
Europe, though but imperfectly comprehended in the present day. The dominant 
church in the days of Luther held the opinions Luther represented, to originate 
not in conscience so much as in wickedness. But the patient endurance of the 
martyrs in imprisonment and in death at length established the conviction that, 
though these men might be erroneous in their views, they must be sincere or they 
•would cease to suffer voluntarily. The long succession of struggles in the name 
of various forms of dissent, from the Established Church down to the Unitarian 
body — at once the pride of heresy though the shame of the church — sufficiently 
attested that, though we might regret the eccentricities of private judgment, there 
was no longer any question as to the earnestness of conviction manifested by these 
parties. Bunyan, the tinman, had excited astonishment by the vagaries of his 
soul as well as by his matchless allegory, the ' Pilgrim's Progress,' They might 
deny the wisdom of his faith, but they could not deny the honesty with which he 
held it when he endured twelve years' imprisonment in its vindication. The new 
and reluctant truth was then forced upon Europe, that the errors of opinion might 
coexist with perfect sincerity. After the martyrs came the philosophers, who 
established that snch was the nature of the human understanding, that assent to a 
proposition was always governed by the law of evidence — that the man who avowed 
his disbelief of a given proposition, which he felt to be untrue, was as honest 
and as virtuous as he who proclaimed his accordance with what was estab- 
lished to his satisfaction. In such cases in which the evidence on both sides 
of the proposition seemed equally balanced, doubt became inevitable, and what 

£No, 274.] INo. 15, Vol. XI.] 




was inevitable was innocent. When this came to be perceived, divines then 
commenced a classification of opinions. They no longer applied one incoherent 
and opprobrious epithet to those who differed from them, but endeavoured to 
describe them by that term which expressed the exact degree of their dissent. 
The church was as much indebted to the establishment of this truth as freedom of 
opinion, and divines learned how to proportion argument so as to effect conviction, 
and the people learned moderation and even respect for those who conscientionsly 
differed from them. Mr. Holyoake then addressed the application of the principle 
he had endeavoured to establish to the conduct pursued by the Christian of every 
denomination, who always founded his preference for his own faith to its apparent 
reasonableness over all others, showing that we instinctively made reasonableness 
the mark of our preference in self-protection and in truth. Mr. Holyoake at- 
tached particular importance to the fact that some eminent bishops, Whately and 
Hampden, philosophers like Mackintosh, divines like Chalmers, and civilians like 
Newman, had admitted that morality to a certain extent was independent of re- 
ligion, and had a natural foundation of its own. It might be that this morality 
was inferior to that deducible from religious grounds, but the possibility of it 
could no longer be denied. It therefore followed that those who said the Rational- 
ist was without morality, could only mean that he was without their morality. It 
was clear that he had grounds tor morality, founded upon the nature of things. 
Secularists was perhaps the proper designation of all who dissented, extremely 
from the religious opinions of the day. They were as anxious as the religious 
men that order shoull prevail, truth should be cherished, and justice observed, 
but the difference consisted in tracing the reason on which their ethics reposed to 
human nature and the constitution of things. At the conclusion of the lecture, 
which was listened to without the slightest interruption, various questions were 
put to the speaker tending to elicit objections to the views of the querists. Mr. 
Holyoake gave his answers to such questions as seemed relevant to the subject 
of his lecture, and explained that if he should enter upon topics foreign to the 
subject announced for discussion, the public would have a right to complain. He 
was bound to preserve his own consistency as a guarantee of his intentions to keep 
faith with the public. « 

Second Lecture. 
On the second night Mr. Holyoake began by adverting to (he test which philo- 
sophers were agreed upon as to the truth of opinion in a demonstrable sense, 
namely, when a subject had been fully discussed in a fair field of inquiry and 
come to be generally adopted afterwards. A proposition might be true though 
not subjected to this ordeal — the human chances of its truth were greater to them 
where this course was pursued. In all matters relating to eternal interests, where 
the risks of belief were so imminent and the final issue so distant, it did seem to 
him (the lecturer) of the utmost importance that the freest debate should be in- 
voked in self-protection. The Roman Catholic Church was the oldest church of 
Europe, the most coherent in doctrine and compact in organisation. True, special 
Scriptural texts could not perhaps be quoted in favour of each one of its tenets, 
but they seemed all to arise in enevitable inference from New Testament doctrine — 
and every form of faith was, alter all, inference— creed was but the expression of 
religious conclusion. Catholicism proceeded on the principle of Authority, and 
worked by three agents, Terror, Inquisition, and Persecution. Reason, trusted 
throughout, was the only proper antagonist of Catholicism : it was easy to see 
how the Authority of the Catholic Church was copied in all churches around us. 
As the follower of St. Peter he puts you down in the name of the Church, so the 


Lutheran pats you down in the name of saving FaiA, and the Dissenter did it in 
the name of saving Grace ; the Unitarian in the name of Heart-feeling, and the 
Pantheist in the name of Sentiment. Thus all churches were types of one great 
original. In the clinging to miracle and prophecy, so common in Christian con- 
troversy, we saw the preference for authority over reason. He (the lecturer) was 
no antagonist of Authority per se. His object was to substitute the authority of 
Reason for that of mere names. He then proceeded to explain that since the days 
when a visible Hell floated upon the Arno, that the same principle of terror had 
been cherished among Christian sects, the Unitarians being the only eminent body 
of Christians in whom humanity triumphed over dogma, and gave its voice against 
the doctrine of eternal punishment. Our pulpits in words imitated the Catholic 
Church in its pictures, and spoke to us the terrors that Rome painted. All pro- 
ceeded to use the formula of Herbert Spencer on the principle of changing conduct 
instead of character. No one could travel from town to town in this great country 
and not discover that an Inquisition into opinion was the characteristic of all 
orthodox churches. People could be counted in every meeting, who were put in 
dread on account of the books they read, the lectures they heard, the friends they 
met. We laboured under a priestly surveillance at once the disgrace of the church 
and the shame of the people. How was it if Christianity was a source of love and 
gentle speech, that he who could not accept its doctrines was met with so much 
rudeness ? Intercourse or controversy with Christians ought to be both safe and 
pleasant, especially with clergymen who added the re6nement of education to the 
graces of the true faith. Yet he had melancholy proof everywhere that it was 
dangerous to fall into the hands of the Christian. Loss of station to the gentleman, 
loss of place to the workman, loss of social recognition generally were too com- 
monly the bitter fruits reaped from the prevalence of the Christian doctrine — prov- 
ing too clearly that persecution was an integral element in Christianity, arising 
from the conviction that there was but one way to heaven, which naturally stimu- 
lated all who believed themselves in the possession of that secret, to the coercion 
of others into the way in which they saw fit to walk. The lecturer then defended 
the doctrine of Reason against the charge of leading to Anarchy, and was listened 
to throughout with great attention. Some questions were put by the audience. 
Such as were relevant Mr. Holyoake replied to; but his answers were apparently 
unsatisfactory to some of the questioners, who did not, however, conduct tbemselTes 
in a very creditable manner. 

[Mr. Holyoake writes that he was in much more personal danger in Whitehaven 
than in Lancaster. An account of the proceedings in this place will appear. Mr. 
Holvoake has returned to London, but proceeds next week to Lancashire. On 
Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday last he lectured in the Calton Convening Rooms, 


' Whatevee is, is right;' and therefore we mast consider even error right while 
it has power to exist ; but, by the same rule, the opposition of those who fight 
against error must also be right, or it would not have existence. These facts 
should be constantly borne in mind; and, in combating error, the attack should be 
made with the comforting assurance that, even in present failure, the foundation 
is being laid for future success — for, in the course of our opposition to error, we 
are prepared for the truth to be attained by triumph. 

On a superficial view of the matter, it seems astonishing that an institution so 
lull of error as the Church of England should exist at this moment ; but, on test- 



ing the matter by the rule just cited, the wonder must give place to a conviction of 
its existence from necessity. This admits of a very simple explanation. If, 
immediately on the discovery of error in a great systom, that system were 
demolished, in the confusion consequent thereon, instead of being relieved of the 
absolute amount of error contained in the system overthrown, the community 
would probably be saddled with a new system equally erroneous, though perhaps 
in a different direction. Whereas, by a lengthened investigation and gradual 
accumulation of evidence, the fallacies of the institution are clearly and minutely 
exposed, and we are enabled to found a system in which the errors which disfi- 
gured the former one shall be carefully avoided. We should never, therefore, 
grow tired of opposing error; the delay of our success merely shows that the 
proper time has not yet arrived, and, in the meanwhile, we are increasing our 
ability to make good use of victory when we shall be in a position to obtain it. 

There can be no doubt that the Church of Rome was the means of effecting 
great good at the time of its establishment in England, and since that period ; but 
the good of this world is comparative, and it is a long process from one degree to 
the next. In time, the Church of Rome lost its character in the eyes of certain 
men, who straightway set about organising and carrying on an opposition to its 
influence. That opposition was, to a certain extent, successful, but not before an 
immensity of labour and suffering had been bestowed on the task. The Church of 
Rome, albeit not destroyed, was disclaimed, and Protestantism was established in 
this country. 

' Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers, for there is no power but of 
God ; the powers that bo are ordained of God. Whosoever, therefore, resisteth 
the power, resisteth the ordinance of God ; and they that resist shall receive to 
themselves damnation.' These are Saint Paul's words. But the first Protestants 
considered themselves justified in withholding their obedience from the Church of 
Rome, on the ground of its innumerable errors and absurdities — notwithstanding 
which fact, their successors in the present day insist strongly on the observance of 
the injunction towards themselves, although we are able to detect quite as much, 
if not more, error in the Church of England than their predecessors discovered in 
the Church of Rome. But we, in this age, have the same right to attack the Church 
of England as they had to attack the Church of Rome in theirs, and we have their 
own example to support our claim. It is clear, however, that the Church of 
England has a mission to perform, and therefore it still exists. But the resistance 
to the Church of England has a mission likewise, and therefore it continues. 
What are the missions to be worked out jointly by the church and its opponents? 
What is the explanation of the apparently inconsistent fact, that both error and 
its foes are alike necessary at the same time ? 

The Church of Rome conferred a benefit on the world, inasmrch as it prepared 
the way for the purer, though not pure, Protestant faith. Protestantism, of which 
the Church of England is the representative, in like manner has elevated the 
minds of men above its own level. Dissent has sprung up, and with it opposition 
to the establishment. But, as yet, the establishment has survived ; the opposition 
has been unable to effect its overthrow. But this by no means tends to demonstrate 
the final supremacy of the establishment. It rather proves that as yet we are not 
prepared for the liberty which would result from the downfall of the church. 
It proves that there is still something for the church to do, still something for its 
opponents to learn — that the church still has power to exist, because its opponents 
have not yet the power to raise up a better system in its place. But it also proves 
that we should waste no time ; the greater our efforts to understand and to expose 
the errors of the establishment the sooner the establishment will cease, and the 
better we shall be able to found a system worthy to succeed it. Equita. 


dBramixiKtian at tfte )3re£0. 

The Mormon Prophet. — A new work has been recently published, entitled 
'The Mormons; or, Latter-day Saints. With Memoirs of the Life and Death of 
Joseph Smith, the " American Mahomet." ' Reviewing which the Athenceum ob- 
serves : — Had a Rabelais or a Swift told tho story of the Mormons under the veil 
of allegory, the sane portion of mankind would probably have entered their protest 
against the extravagance of the satirist. The name of the mock hero, the ignorance 
and want of character of his family, the low cunning of his accomplices in the 
fraud, the open and shameless vices in which he indulged, and the extraordinary 
success of the sect founded by his enthusiasm — would all have been thought too 
obviously conceived with a view to ludicrous effects. Joseph Smith is indeed a 
curious comment on the age. His revelations should be a lesson to the orthodox 
in both hemispheres. That the Smiths — the family of the prophet— were far below 
the usual level of intelligence in America, is not denied by their followers. That 
their private lives would not bear looking into, they themselves admitted. With 
a Danton-like audacity, the new prophet at once and for ever silenced such enemies 
as adduced his ignorance, his vices, and his debts as militating against his pro- 
phetic character, by acknowledging all these to the fullest extent, and extracting 
from them an argument in favour of his larger share of divine grace. A prophet 
who could not spell — a Bible full of the grossest errors of grammar — might seem 
strange anomalies to the children of this world ; but Joseph reminded his disciples 
— as George Fox had done on a similiar occasion^that Go*d does not stand in need 
of human learning — probably never having heard how finely South had already 
disposed of the fallacy when he replied, ' If God do not stand in need of human 
learning, still less does He stand in need of human ignorance.' But, it is alleged, 
if the Book of Mormon be a forgery, it is not the forgery of a man utterly devoid 
of letters. This is true. Gibbon doubted whether Mohammed could write; yet 
it is confessed, even by Christian scholars, that the Koran is one of the most 
eloquent of books, and the very model of pure and nervous Arabic. Now, in spite 
of its errors of grammar and its absurdities of doctrine, the Book of Mormon is a 
clever book. It exhibits no slight acquaintance with history and archaeology, 
and has a facility of invention not to be hoped for in the works of a man entirely 
illiterate. But then arises the question — Did Joseph Smith write it? We set 
aside the story of the supposed finding of the golden plates from which he told his 
dupes that he translated it — not because we feel bound to reject the idea of ancient 
writings being discoverable in America — but from an entire unacquaintance with 
any mode by which an unlettered man could faithlully translate the terms of a 
forgotten language. On this point there has been much discussion in America; 
and the evidence in explanation of the fraud practised by Smith is, in our opinion, 
complete and satisfactory. The real author of the Book of Mormon was, it appears, 
a Rev. Solomon Spaulding — who wrote it in the first instance as a romance.' — 
Athenceum, August 16th, 1851. 

New Dress of Women. — The women of America are justly assuming inde- 
pendence as to dress. The Leader has rendered interesting accounts of their new 
taste in costume, and the comments it calls forth. The Leader of Saturday, 
August 16, adds this comment on the 'Bloomer Revolt:' — Is not this anarchy 
frightful ? Next we shall see Englishmen wearing garbs that best suit their aspect 
and avocations; shopmen democratically giving up the attempt to be mistaken for 
Lords and Baronets ; even Lords probably, such is the depravity of human nature, 


giving up the attempt to look like waiters ; working-men content to look like 
working-men, and not like seedy gentlemen employing the most inept of tailors; 
girls content to look lovely, and various as the tints of their hair; and the world 
in general content to become picturesque. No; that cannot be ; to be picturesque 
is what no Englishman would ever submit to be thought — vulgak. Beauty is for 
the theatre, the painter's studio, and other haunts of vice. Respectability is always 
ugly : if it for an instant ceases to be so, it begins to doubt itself. In the United 
States they are not tormented by these considerations, because they are Republicans, 
and Republicans are never respectable. Handsome is that handsome does : if 
English wives were to become handsome, away with conjugal fidelity, with our 
institutions, our monarchy, &c. You cannot remove one inch of the social fabric 
without pulling down the whole — so firmly is it built ! Englishmen, then, will 
continue to dress themselves like bricks — all alike. 

Divine Socialism. — The term ' Socialism ' is not now regarded with the horror 
it once was in this country, although it has, certainly, been used to signify 
the wildest and most irrational system of morals and policy. The object of 
'Divine Socialism,' by Newman Hall, B.A., is to nndo the mischief which has 
arisen to society from the miserable conduct of Christians from the earliest times 
to the present, and who, so far from being that which they have but caricatured, 
have led multitudes to suspect and disown Christianity altogether. This is not to 
be wondered at. We think Mr. Hall would have done well to have pointed out 
more forcibly the great evils which have been inflicted by priesthoods of all classes; 
for instance, what can be thought of religion itself if the Wesleyan ministers, in 
their tyranny over the people, are to be taken as its proper exponents? The 
greatest evil of the ministerial order has been the possession of power, which, 
somehow, they never know to use with propriety, thereby disgusting numbers 
within and without the church, and driving the masses from them into the for- 
mation of systems of their own on the principle of ' Every man his own priest' 
How comes it that the working classes of this country belong neither to the church 
nor to the chapel ? Is Christianity at fault, or its professed disciples and minis- 
ters ? We read of Christ that ' the common people heard him gladly.' Is it so 
now ? Look at the conduct of the papal ecclesiastics at Rome at the present 
moment, tyrannising over the souls and bodies of their fellow-creatures as if they 
were brute beasts. What is the consequence at Rome ? The people are all in- 
fidels to the faith ; and as for the Pope, the head of the system, with his resistance 
to toleration in Spain, he is regarded, not as the representative of Christ, but as a 
drivelling fanatic. Yet we have the admirers of the Pope in this country, who 
can see no fault in him, most of whom are of the priestly order. We sincerely 
wish success to Mr. Hall's object in writing this book, that of promoting the ad- 
vance of a safe, social reformation, and of a manly, unsectarian Christianity; but we 
would just hint to him, and others with like objects, that, if they wish their works 
to make way among the masses, they must oflfer them at a cheaper price. If Mr* 
Hall thinks that those for whom his little work is designed will give eightpence 
for it, in order to have their prejudices removed, he is simply mistaken. The 
infidel writers of the present day understand the power of cheapness, and we are 
certain that a work of the size of ' Divine Socialism ' would have been issued by 
them for threepence or fourpence. Such a work as ' Divine Socialism,' to do any 
good, ought to circulate by the million ; but those for whom it is intended will look 
twice at eightpence before they part with it for even * Divine Socialism.' — Bir- 
mingham Mercury. 



C^e pragve^^ at tlit intellect. 

[Concluded from last number.] 

The work in which philosophy and re- 
ligion co-operate is effectually promoted 
only when the mind is humble, distrust- 
ful of itself, and trained in conformity 
with these conditions. If it attempts to 
forestall the industry of future ages 
by premature theories and creeds, to 
idolise its notions and entities, and 
whether on scientific or religious grounds 
to treat its acquired experiences as final, 
its progress is arrested at the point 
where it parted from philosophy, like a 
degenerate artist who unconsciously for- 
sakes nature in the spirit of mannerism 
and self-repetition. All notions are 
subjective, and between human truth 
and error there. is only, strictly speak- 
ing, the diflference of a greater or less 
degree of subjectivity. The more sub- 
jective class of ideas belong, in the his- 
tory of the mind, to what is called the 
mythic age, but are, in fact, abundantly 
brought forth by the uneducated or ill- 
educated intellect in all ages. By cor- 
recting the inferences of the senses by 
reason, and those of reason by confront- 
ing them with nature — by distinguishing 
the knowledge thus obtained as contain- 
ing diffei-ent degrees of probability or 
certainty— we obtain, not indeed that 
absolute truth which the experience of 
the world has proved to be unattainable, 
but that knowledge of causes and conse- 
quences which conduces to our preser- 
vation and promotes our advancement. 
Education is the formation of the intel- 
lectual habits, not by that method which 
ruined the ancient philosophical schools, 
and which is still countenanced by mo- 
dern opinion — ' the instilling truths ' — 
forthis presumes that we possess truth to 
an extent transcending human capability; 
but rather training the mind to the dispo- 
sition and ability to seek truth, to acquire 
that philosophic spirit which has been 
said to be more valuable than any 
limited acquisitions of philosophy, and 
for this end to be prepared to surrender 

to the spirit of truthfulness whatever ac- 
quired inferences have from time dege- 
nerated into prejudices and an obstinate 
adherence to which has always been its 
greatest impediment. 


Religion and science are inseparable. 
No object in nature, no subject of con- 
templation, is destitute of a religious 
tendency and meaning. If religion be 
made to consist only in traditional and 
legendary forms, it is, of course, as dis- 
tinguishable from science as the Mosaic 
cosmogony from geology; but if it be 
the ascensio mentis in Deum per scalas 
creatarum rerum* — the, evolving the 
grounds of hope, faith, and duty from 
the known laws of our being and the 
constitution of the universe — religion 
may be said to include science as its 
minister; and antiquity, which beheld a 
divinity in all things, erred only in mis- 
taking its intelligible character, and in 
making it a mere matter of mystic specu- 
lation. In a more limited sense, religion 
may be contrasted with science as some- 
thing beyond and above it, as beginning 
where science ends, and as a guide 
through the realms of the unknown. 
But the known and the unknown are 
intimately connected and correlative. A 
superstructure of faith can be securely 
built only on the foundations of the 
known. Philosophy and religion have 
one common aim ; they are but different 
forms of answer to the same great ques- 
tion, that of man and his destination. 
Though differing in name, character, and 
language, their mission is similar; and 
they grew up under varying circum- 
stances to supply the same want. When 
the human understanding was first 
roused to contemplate the problem of 

* The ascension of the mind to God 
by the ladder of created things. 



its destination, it must have been in- 
stantly impressed with a sense of its 
helplessness and incapacity to furnish 
from its own resources a satisfactory 
solution. The problem must have been 
abandoned in despair if it had not been 
cleared up by the intervention of heaven. 
Those consolatory suggestions of ever- 
present nature, which convey even to 
the savage a rough answer to the great 
difficulty, together with the most neces- 
sary elements of religious truth, were 
hailed on their first announcement with 
an avidity proportionate to the want of 
them, and deferentially received and 
adhered to as divine intimations. The 
growth of philosophy was checked by the 
premature establishment of religions. 
These had grown out of a kind of imper- 
fect and unconscious philosophy, and 
clothed in the poetic language of an 
early age had been reduced to a per- 
manent system of dogmas and mythi, 
calculated for a time to amuse and satisfy 
the doubts and aspirations of mankind. 
But religion, divorced from philosophy, 
became obsolete and inefficient. The 
great problem of nature recurred, and 
stronger and more intelligible evidence 
was required to justify the important 
results which religion had anticipated. 
Philosophy, properly so called, arose 
along with scepticism — when men were 
emboldened to appeal from authority to 
reason, to estimate the value ot evidence, 
and to analyse the results of experience. 
There is a virtuous scepticism as well as 
a necessary faith — doubt, ' that best 
prism of the truth's rays,' is a part of 
true religion as well as of true philoso- 
phy, and the proudest boast of its modest 
and patient spirit is to be ' ever learning,' 
though never arriving at (perfect) truth. 
The wise of ancient as well as of modern 
times deeply felt the imperfect character 
of all merely human knowledge ; they 
professed to be only as children gather- 
ing pebbles on the shores of the ocean 
— to see darkly, as through a glass, 
or vision, or out of the obscurity of a 
cavern. But the priestly sage was dis- 
posed to register his more cherished in- 
ferences of faith and hope in formularies 
too presumptuou>ly rigid, to claim for 
them eternity ai.d infallibility, and so 
place them, as snpjjorted by superhuman 
authority, aloof and apart from all other 
acquisitions, and from the natural revela- 

tion out of which they really Bpmng. 
Tradition, implicitly received, took away 
from religion its power of conforniity to 
the progress of human wants, and fixed 
it in a mould both fanatical and pedantic. 
Philosophy challenged this intellectual 
thraldom, and undertook to achieve for 
itself, upon independent grounds, a 
faith more in harmony with knowledge. 
But its efibrts, though noble, were to a 
great extent frustrated by a misconcep- 
tion of its object. A divine and infalli- 
ble creed could not be entirely replaced 
by the humbler pretensions of a rational 
one, and philosophy was baffled when in 
its early attempts it aimed at that cer- 
tainty which religion had vainly pledged 
itself to supply. Yet philosophy, though 
nursed in scepticism, has eventually won 
both a certainty and a faith — a faith in 
many respects more durable than that 
idly inherited from tradition. The same 
experience which teaches rational beings 
to look beyond the immediate to the 
remote, furnishes them with grounds of 
confidence and encouragement for the 
task. Religion claims all the faculties 
as tributaries, and even imagination 
may, under due restrictions, help to 
exalt humanity, by raising it above the 
limits of the actual and by giving a 
more vivid expression to its hopes. 
Faith is, to a great extent, involuntary — 
it is a law or faculty of our nature, 
operating silently and intuitively to 
supply ttie impeiiections of knowledge. 
The boundary between faith and know- 
ledge is indeed hard to distinguish. We 
are said to know our own impressions — 
to believe in their reality, or in the 
existence of a substantial cause of them. 
It follows that the immediate as well as 
the more remote interences from pheno- 
mena are the blended fruit of faith and 
knowledge — and that though faith, pro- 
perly speaking, is not knowledge, but 
the admission of certain inferences 
beyond knowledge, yet it is almost inj- 
possible, in tracing back the operations 
of the mind, to Bud any, even the most 
elementary, inference which is not in 
some degree a compound of both, and 
which may not ultimately be resolved 
into a consistent belief in the results of 
experience. Faith, being thus the inse- 
parable companion and offspring of 
knowledge, is, like it, liable to modifica- 
tion and correction — that which we call 



our knowledge of the ultimate purpose 
of existence being, in fact, only a belief 
or inference from experience, which 
would lose its rational value if it were 
supposed to be so complete and infallible 
as to exempt us from the necessity of 
further reflection. All human know- 
ledge must partake of the imperfection of 
the faculties through which it is derived, 
and the limited and unsatisfactory cha- 
racter of what we know leaves a wide 
and most important void to be filled up 
by our belief. But the more imperfect 
our knowledge the more necessary it 
becomes to examine with suspicion the 
foundations of the faith so closely con- 
nected with it. Faith, as opposed to 
credulity and to that blind submission 
to inexplicable power which usurped its 
name in the East, is an allegiance of the 
reason ; and as ' the evidence of things 
unseen ' stands on the verge of mysticism, 
its value must depend on the discretion 
with which it is formed and used. Like 
all the other faculties, the belief requires 
to be educated; as the feet are taught to 
walk, the lips and tongue to speak, so 
the capacity of belief must be taught 
how to build securely, yet not arrogantly, 
on the data of experience. Faith is not 
that belief of St. Augustine whose merit 
increased with the absurdity of the pro- 
position, nor that which attributed to 
the instigation of God the real or pro- 
jected murder of an only son. An 
irrational faith grew out of the opposite 
irrational extreme of incredulity, when 
men refused to believe the truth unless 
authenticated by sensuous evidence that 
confounded their understandings. True 
faith is a belief in things probable — it is 
the assigning to certain inferences a 
hypothetical objectivity, and upon the 
conscious acknowledgment of this hypo- 
thetical character alone depends its ad- 
vantage over fanaticism, its moral value 
and dignity. Between the opposite 
risks of credulity and scepticism it must 
be guided by those broad principles of 
reason which all the faculties require 
for their x-egulation. Reason alone can 
in each case determine where credulity 
begins, and fix the limit beyond which 
the mind should cease to assign even 
a qualified objectivity to its own imagi- 
nations. In its advanced stages, faith 
is a legitimate result of the calculation 
of probabilities ; it may transcend expe- 

rience, but can never absolutely contra- 
dict it. Faith and knowledge tend 
mutually to the confirmation and en- 
largement of each other — faith, by veri- 
fication, being often transformed into 
knowledge, and every increase of know- 
ledge supplying a wider and firmer basis 
of belief. Faith, as an inference from 
knowledge, should be consistently in- 
ferred from the whole of knowledge; 
since, when estranged and isolated, it 
loses its vitality, and the estrangement 
is as effectual when it is hastily and 
unfairly inferred as where it is wholly 
gratuitous. The same experience which 
is the source of knowledge being, there- 
fore, the only legitimate foundation of 
faith, a sound faith cannot be derived 
from the anomalous and exceptional. It 
is the avidity for the marvellous, and 
the morbid eagerness for a cheap and 
easy solution of the mysteries of exis- 
tence — a solution supposed to be implied 
in the conception of an arbitrary and 
unintelligible rule — which has ever re- 
tarded philosophy and stultified religion. 
Faith naturally arises out of the regular 
and undeviating. The same tinerring 
uniformity which alone made experience 
possible, was also the first teacher of the 
invisible things of God. It is this 

' Elder Scripture, writ by God's own hand- 
Scripture authentic, uncorrupt by man,' 

which is set before every one without 
note or comment, and which even Holy 
Writ points out as the most unques- 
tionable authority by which both in 
heaven and earth the will of God is 
interpreted to mankind. If man is not 
permitted to solve the problem of exis- 
tence, he is at least emboldened to hope 
and to infer so much from its actual 
conditions as to feel confident as to its 
results. Faith takes up the problem 
exactly where knowledge leaves it; and as 
from confounding the objects of the two 
have arisen the discords of sects and the 
puzzles of philosophy, so the discovery 
of their true relations and limits enables 
the mind to reconcile and account for 
the controversies of the past, and in 
some measure to penetrate the mysteries 
that occasioned them. Faith, the neces- 
sary evidence of the seen as well as the 
unseen, is the assumed basis of all in- 
ferential knowledge, for it is the only 
assurance we have of the reality of the 



world ia which we move and live. The 
external something whose existence we 
presume but cannot prove as the cause 
of our sensations, is as much an object of 
faith as the unseen Deity, or as the 
anticipated renewal of our existence. 
Habitually, but unconsciously, we de- 
pend on faith in every perception and 
every act, in every inquiry after truth 
and every expectation of a practical 
result. Faith, thus essential to material 
comfort and support, is, like the pulses 
of the heart, involuntary and intuitive. 
But, educated in the simplest things, the 
believing faculty becomes, in its ulterior 
development, an instrument for effecting 
the highest as well as the most ordinary 
purposes of our being, and opens to 
every one, as it did to Columbus, a new 
world. Life, intellectually as well as 
physically, is like ' a star hovering on 
the horizon's verge, between night and 
morning,' and we stand at the parting of 
the two roads imagined by the great 
idealist", Parmenides — between the ideal 
and the real, the seeming and the true. 
On one hand is the infatuation of the 
senses, leading to uncertainties of 
opinion ; on the other, faith, secure 
under the control of reason. In the 
progress of thought, as the notional and 
external becomes moi-e and more an 
object of distrust, the ideal proportion- 
ably increases in dignity and significance, 
and we feel through faith to belong more 
to the invisible and future than to the 
tangible and immediate. In the golden 
age, the two were undistinguished from 
each other. Evidence was then felt 

rather than understood, and faith almost 
intuitive — the rationalist and religionist 
were one. When the tree of knowledge 
was separated from the tree of life, a 
dark and forlorn interval succeeded, 
during which human nature underwent 
long struggles of revolt and disquietude. 
More correct views of our migratory and 
divided citizenship redeem us from this 
downfall, and restore the intellectual 
balance. By faith, the companion of 
knowledge, the contradictory tendencies 
of our twofold nature are explained and 
reconciled. The condition of the world, 
the purposes of providence are no longer 
an impenetrable mystery. By faith we 
may be at once idealists and materialists, 
yet neither sensual nor mystical. While 
we stood upon our mere knowledge good 
seemed inextricably mixed up with evil, 
our world disfigured by a fall, and even 
knowledge itself doubtful or impossible. 
We lived in a world of phantoms, and 
all existence, even our own, might be 
made problematical. Idealism redeems 
the imperfections of our knowledge, 
through the intervention of belief. By 
faith, or that transcendental view which 
the spirit of religion superadds to science, 
the distant is brought near, the tempo- 
rary is made continuous, the finite infi- 
nite. What was relatively true is no 
longer absolutely credible. We see evil, 
yet believe in universal good; we see 
diversity, but believe in unity ; we are 
surrounded by change and death, yet 
cling to the certainty of eternal stability 
and life. 


:ontrovert our opinions 
?n, if tending to the R: 


From which any earnest opponent may controvert our opinions, and from whicli any may expound views 
not coincident with our own, if tending to the Rationalisation of Theology. 

SiE, — For some time past the pulpits of this place have rung the usual changes 
in refutation of infidelity, and doubters of every shade, from the Socinian to the 
Atheist, have been delivered over to Satan with as little remorse as a bailifT would 
serve a writ upon an unfortunate debtor. At last a champion for the faith ap- 
peared in the person of Mr. Wood, who, arrayed in all the armour of the elect, 
publicly proclaimed that he would drive infidelity from the place in twelve months. 
Mr. Wood commenced lecturing on the evidences of Christianity, and invited 
the freethinkers to come and ask him questions, that the opportunity might be 
afforded him of removing their objections. One person, an able and well-informed 
man, but no public speaker, asked him some questions ; and Mr. W., taking 
advantage of his opponent's inability to address a public audience, held up his ideas 
to ridicule, and boasted that he would demolish all infidels as easily as he had the 
one who had already questioned him. Mr. Wood then undertook to show that the 
Bible was in accordance with all scientific truth — especially with the teachings of 
geology and astronomy. Mr. Mill having been lecturing on these subjects in the 
neighbourhood, Mr. Wood stated that he would prove him insane. Mr. Mill ac- 
cordingly attended, and having objected to many things advanced, especially the 
exposition of the first chapters of Genesis, Mr. Wood invited him to a discussion 
on the genuineness and authenticity of the whole Bible, and appointed that day 
fortnight for the commencement of the debate. 

At the appointed time Mr. Wood gave a lecture. He commenced by stating that 
the Jews had three books, or rather classes of books— the Law, the Prophets, and the 
book of Hymns or Psalms. That Jesus had frequently cited passages from them, 
and referred to them as containing a revelation from God; and hence they had not 
only the authority of Moses and the prophets, but of Christ also. That Josephus 
and other authors had quoted from them, and given it as their opinion that the 
books were from God. That the Jews were not a credulous people, and could not 
have been imposed upon, and that they would suffer death rather than alter their 
sacred books. The agreement of the books one with another, and their remarkable 
preservation, was another proof of their divinity. That all the good of the present 
time had resulted from the Bible. Priestcraft and infidelity were falling, and 
would soon be forgotten. Mr. Wood concluded by saying that he had more 
charity for the Red Republicans (those social butchers, as he termed them, of 
France), than he had for the man who would take the Bible from us — and that he 
had the least charity of all for those who mangled and curtailed the word of God, 
taking one portion and rejecting another, just as it suited their own ideas. 

Mr. Mill, in reply, said that he feared he should have but very little charity 
from his opponent, as he had sifted the Bible to the best of his ability, had rejected 
whatever appeared to him to be bad, but had never refused a good thought, no 
matter who had said it. His opponent had given them the arguments generally 
given for the genuineness of the Bible, he (Mr. M.) would furnish him with a reply. 
The authority of Jesus, Josephus, and others was first disposed of, and then the 
other arguments advanced. Mr. Wood attempted a reply without success. Mr, 
Mill rejoined with arguments of great variety and force, which compelled his 
opponent to admit that he was unable to reply* 

Two other meetings took place, but Mr. Wood could never again be brought to 
debate, and finally gave up all further contest with the sceptics. Z. 




[Discussing with a friend the other day the meanings, modern and ancient, of the 
term Atheist, induced the following note to be written by him subsequently. It 
may be of use in directing the inquiries of others.] 

Dear Jacob, — I find you are both right and wrong in the matter of the word 
atheist. The Greeks have an adjective, atkeatos, which means * blind to,' ' not 
seeing.' I do not, however, find a substantive answering to our word atheist. 
But there is an adverb, atheei, which means ' without the aid of God ;' the prefix a 
does mean 'not.' So far you are right. But you are wrong in your logic. You 
said we ought not to go back to the ancient meaning of words when the modern 
meaning was opposed to it. I assented. But, in this instance, the ancient mean- 
ing — that is, of atheates — comes nearest to the word which I think you wish to 
apply to yourself, namely, that you are one ' blind to ' or ' not seeing ' a God. 
So that to employ the word in this sense would subject you to these misapprehensions 
you seek to avoid ; as the herd do not apprehend by the term atheist a man ' not see- 
ing' God, but a man who wilfully denies the existence of God from sinister motives, 
and who, in denying God, denies virtue, truth, honesty, justice, and all those noble 
qualities which go to make up a great and good man. 

You want, therefore, either a new word or a new definition of the old word. If 
you adhere to the true etymological meaning, you will not be understood ; if you 
accept the modern, which you will not, you will commit a great error. Choose, 
therefore, though the choice be difficult. 

In my Latin lexicon, irreligious is the word given to define an atheist, which 
means 'ungodly,' 'irreligious,' ' undevout.' This, of course, involves a definition 
of irreligion, ungodliness, and opens up the question afresh. 

Walker says — ' Atheist, one who denies a God.' The meaning I should be dis- 
posed to give would be ' not a theist ;' but this would not meet your case, for, 
though not a theist, you are not (see Walker's definition) an atheist. 

There is another view of this word, and I fancy that is what you are driving at. 
Does not atheist, in reality, as applied by yourself to yourself, mean one who does 
not believe in a God? Is it not belief or disbelief which is in question here, not 
negation or assertion ? But then you do neither. You do not say ' I believe in 
God,' neither do you say 'I do not believe in God;' you simply say 'I see no 
reason to belive in God. He may exist — I do not perceive that he does. Conse- 
quently, though I cannot be said to assert, neither do I deny, the existence of God.' 
You are one who might say nescii deos, but not nego deog, there being an important 
diflference in the verbs — one implying a want of knowledge on the subject, the other 
expressing absolutely a knowledge that the gods are not. 

I have just found atheos—sa,id to be 'without God,' 'denying the Gods ' — in 
general, ' ungodly, godless.' 

Camden Town. Eugene. 

[* Jacob' thinks the course to be taken is to use the term Secularists as indicating 
general views, and accept the term Atheist at that point at which Ethics declines 
alliance with Theology ; always, however, explaining the term Atheist to mean 
' not seeing God ' visually or inferentially — never suflfering it to be taken (as Chal- 
mers, Foster, and many represent it) for anti-theism, that is, hating God, denying 
God,' as ' hating' implies personal knowledge as the ground of dislike, and 'deny- 
ing ' implies infinite knowledge as the ground of disproof. — Ed.] 




Sir, — I have been solicited by our friends here to report to the Reasoner the 
progress we have made, and are still making, in the cause of freethought. The 
Philpot Street Institution is a small one, but, through the exertions of our valuable 
friend, J. P. Adams, and the gentlemen who compose the committee, it is rendered 
as useful as any similar institution in the metropolis. Public discussions are 
held on Tuesday and Thursday evenings, which are very numerously attended. 
The proceedings here of late have much disturbed the tranquillity of the pious of 
the neighbourhood ; in consequence of which the ministers of the surrounding 
chapels have been using their influence, and doing all in their power to close our 
place of meeting. 

But, in spite of their efforts and intimidations, our landlord, in a spirit that puts 
Christian toleration to the blush, answered, when asked to refuse us the use of his 
hall — ' As I let my hall to Christians that they may preach against infidelity, I 
cannot do less than allow freethinkers an opportunity for reply.' 

Finding we were not to be silenced in that manner, they resolved to try what 
the power of argument would do ; so every night of discussion we have clergymen 
and others to oppose us, and long and animated are the debates. The other 
evening the Rev. Mr. Phillips, of Northampton, with whom you discussed some 
three years ago, paid us a visit. In the course of his address he informed us that 
infidels and free thinkers were * a set of mean, dishonest fellows,' and that they 
knew it, but had not the honesty to confess it. The unanimous disapprobation of 
the audience showed the rev, gentleman that he enjoyed the opinion alone. 

We had a discussion lately upon the subject, ' What are the Prospects and 
Promises of Materialism ?' Several clergymen were present, and the debate was 
an interesting and instructive one. At the conclusion Dr. Brooks delivered an 
able speech, and argued with much force the superiority of the doctrine of mate- 
rialism over spirituality, and said that his personal experience had taught him 
that it was from material, and not spiritual, things men were to look for wisdom 
and improvement. The discussions are conducted upon the principle, so often 
enforced in the Reasoner, of allowing a fair and impartial hearing to all, and con- 
ceding the same sincerity of intention to our opponents as we claim for ourselves. 

We have on the committee well-tried workers in the cause of political and re- 
ligious liberty, and with the co-operation of the members, we hope to extend our 
sphere of action, increase our numbers, and enlarge the institution, and, by a good 
staff of lecturers, organise an effective freethinking propagandism for this part of 
the town. Henry. 


Sir, — In considering the existence of Jehovah, we must do so relatively to his 
entire being; and if we find that any of those attributes which are necessarily 
ascribed to him to constitute him a God are incompatible with each other, or that 
the possession of one effectually precludes the possession of another, we shall be 
inevitably forced to the conclusion that a being with such powers and faculties 
does not, and cannot, exist Theologians have invariably depicted God as an ab- 
solute being, possessing intelligence and omniscience j but it will appear, upon a 
mere glance, which appearance will be confirmed by protracted thinking, that as 



an intelligent being must be a progressive being, it can neither be absolute nor 
omniscient. Intelligence includes the idea of comparison and induction; and 
we may, for the sake of argument, assume the existence of a being possessing un- 
limited knowledge, but as soon as an intelligent act — that of comparing and in- 
ferring takes place in his mind it gives rise to a new idea, adds to his stock of 

knowledge, annihilates his omniscience, and proves him to be a progressive being. 
As therefore, a progressive being cannot be an absolute being — for the idea of 
pro»ression presupposes relation to time, circumstances, and conditions — it follows 
as a matter of course that an absolute, intelligent being does not, and cannot, exist. 

Again, we may, for the sake of admitting his omniscience as it respects the 
future, assume the existence of an absolute being determined not to compare his 
ideas for the production of a new one, but from the position he would occupy at 
any period of his existence he would necessarily have an idea of the events trans- 
piring at that time, and he could not recall the memory without a comparison 
taking place, and forcing his mind to an inference. To suppose, then, the existence 
of such a being determined not to compare ideas, we must also suppose him 
determined not to recall the memory of the past, an act which would at once des- 
troy his omniscience as respects the infinite past, and also a part of his intelligence, 
for it is a law which holds ti-ue of mind, that unless it recalls the memory of events 
that have already transpired they are soon forgotten. But some may exclaim, ' the 
finite cannot grasp the infinite.' Admitted ; but a law which holds true of a finite 
mind must be infinitely more true of an infinite one — and, indeed, the very fact of 
never recalling the ideas of the past is proof positive of their being forgotten. 

In a previous paragraph we have premised that an absolute being cannot be 
intelligent, for intelligence, as we have already observed, includes comparison and 
induction, and renders its possessor a progressive being. The distinguishing 
characteristic of an absolute being is, that he cannot be affected either by time, 
circumstances, or conditions; whereas a progressive being must be affected by 
them all to constitute him a progressive being. It is only by time, circumstances, 
and conditions acting upon an individual that he can pass from one state to 
another, either physically, mentally, or morally. This passing from stage to stage 
takes place in virtue of an individual's intelligence, and wherever we find intelli- 
gence we must, from its very nature, also find progression — a progression either 
in virtue and knowledge, or in ignorance and vice. As, therefore, a progressive 
being can never remain the same, and as an absolute being must always be ' the 
same yesterday, to-day, and for ever,' it follows most incontestibly that a progres- 
sive being can never be an absolute one. 

We thus find, by a plain and unsophisticated course of reasoning, that although 
an intelligent being must be a progressive being, he cannot be omniscient, and 
that a progressive being cannot be absolute ; it therefore follows that, as our idea 
of God is the representative of an obsolute being possessing both intelligence 
and omniscience, we are necessarily forced to the conclusion that his existence 
is an impossibility. 

Mile End. Samcel Foolet. 


Extract from the Register of the deliberations of the Council of the Prefecture 
of the Department of Florence. Sitting of the 16th of May, 1851 : — 

Whe7-eag, It is proven that, on the evening of the 7th day of this present month, 
Fiddle Zetti, the Count Pierre Guicciardini, Csesar Magrini, Angiolo Guarducci, 



Charles Solaini, Sabatino Borsiero, and Joseph Guerra, were seated round a table 
in the house of the said Fidele; and • 

Whereas, It appears, from the confession of the accused themselves, that at the 
same moment the Count Guicciardini was reading and commenting upon a chapter 
of the Gospel of St. John, in the Italian translation attributed to Jean Diodati ; and 

Whereas, There are sufficient pooofs that this reading and commentary had no 
other intent than to inspire sentiments and religious principles contrary to those 
of the Apostolical Roman Catholic faith; — 

Therefore, In consideration of the second article of the decree of the 25th April, 
1851, the Council adjudges imprisonment for six months, to the Count Guicciardini 
at Volterra, Csesar Magrini at Montieri, Angiolo Guarducci at Gaincarico, Fidele 
Zetti at Orbitello, Charles Solaini at Ciniquiana, Sabatino Borsiero at Kocca Strada, 
anil Joseph Guerra at Fiombino. 

Corrected copy. For the Secretary. 

A. Lambuchi, First Commissioner. 


Literary Institution, John Street, Fitzroy Square. 
— August 31st [7iJ, a lecture.— Sept. 3rd, [SA], 
Discussion in the Coffee Kooni. Question, ' The 
Respective Merits of Free Trade and Protection.' 

Hall of Science, City Road. — (Undergoing im- 

National Hall, 242, High Holborn.— Aug. 31st, 
[8], P. \V. ?er6tt will lecture. 

Eclectic Institute, Denmark Street, Soho. — 
Every Friday [8i], Mr. J. B, O'Brien, ' Home and 
Foreign Politics.' Every Sunday [7i], on ' Moral 
and Social Science.' 

Areopagus Coffee and Reading Room, 59, Church 
Lane, Whitechapel. — Every Sunday, Monday, and 
Wednesday (8), a Lecture or Discussion. 

City Forum Coffee House, 60, Red Cross Stseet. 
— Every Sunday, Monday, and Thursday [8^], a 

Commercial Hall, Philpot Street, Commercial 
Road East. — Every Tuesday and Thursday even- 
iiig [8], a Discussion. 

City Road Discussion Society, 22, City Road. — 
Discussion every Wednesday evening. 



Theodore Parker on Matters Pertaining lo 

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Life of Paine, by W. J. Linton 

Portrait of Paine, engraved on Steel 1 

The English Republic, edited by W. J. 

Linton. Nos. 1 to /, each at 

Byron's i^ision of Judgment 

Southey's Wat Tyler 

Essay on the Functions of the Brain 

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sage, Paternoster -row. 

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Just ready, price 2d., the 4th edition of 

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<Btir Open 

We observe by a prospectus, which has been issued under good auspices, that it 
is proposed to establish a ' People's Institute for Westminster and Pimlico,' to 
be devoted to the ' promotion of Secular Education and the furtherance of Demo- 
cratic Progress.' Among the trustees we find the names of Mr. Charles Lush- 
ington, M.P., Mr. Lawrence Heyworth, M.P., and Mr. T. S. Buncombe, M.P. A 
committee has been formed, Mr. Vansittart Neale has accepted the treasnrership, 
and Mr. Edmond Stallwood has been appointed secretary. They propose to 
establish a People's Institute in the vicinity of the Westminster improvements, 
the proposed site being in Upper Tachbrook Street — a plot of ground admirably 
adapted for the purpose, and already in the possession of working men. It pos- 
sesses a ninety-nine years' lease, on which the promoters propose to erect a Hall, 
with the necessary appurtenances, by means of one thousand shares at £1 each 
(transferable), payable by instalments of not less than three pence per week per 
share ; any person to be at liberty to take up as many shares as he or she may 
think proper; but in order to ensure the Institute's continuance in the possession 
and interest of the industrial classes, no person (be their shares one or many) 
will have or exercise more than one vote in the direction of its affairs. Shares 
can be obtained, on application to the secretary, any day at Bridge Kow Wharf, 

In the Kreuz Zeitung of the 8th of July, the organ of the Prussian State Church, 
the following pithy bit occurs, very characteristic of the paper and the party it 
represents. The article from which it is extracted is entitled ' Democracy, Cholera, 
and the Potato Blight.' Thus it runs — ' Death is the wages of sin. Every age 
has its peculiar sins and peculiar punishments. At present democratic principles 
have attacked the mind of the people, cholera their blood, and the potato blight 
their means of subsistence. We do not, however, want knowledge of these things 
— we want repentance. Let the people return to the living God, and he will have 
mercy upon them. Conversion can alone save us.' — The Daily News, commenting 
on this burst of piety, very correctly terms it * hideous, brazen-faced hypocrisy — 
ruffian cant — swaggering, insolent Pharisaism.' And yet it contains the quintes- 
sence of Christianity. 

The person who wrote to Mr. Holyoake in Newcastle, signing himself 'An 
Admirer,' must send his name and address before his communication can be even 
of private service. 

Mr. Knowles's subscription for Mr. Zeredy's book will be handed to the editor 
of the Leader. 

A German author has prepared translations of the chief passages in the * History 
of the Last Trial by Jury for Atheism,' to be published in a new German work 
entitled ' Congenial Voices from England and France,' 

Mr. Lawton informs us that 'On the 27th of July a general meeting of the 
Sheffield Branch of the Rational Society was held, at which a petition to Parliament 
on the subject of Harmony Hall, somewhat similar to that from the Central Board 
which appeared in your columns, was unanimously adopted. I sent it to our 
Member, Mr. Parker, for presentation, and he has informed me by letter that he 
duly pi-esented the same.' 

The word ' man,' to which a note is attached on page 208 in the last namber, 
should have been printed them. As it stands the note is unintelligible. 

London: Printed by Holyoake Brothers, 3, Queen's Head Passage, Patemoster-row; and Published 
by J. Watson. .1, Queen's Head Passage, Paternoster- row. — Wednesday, August 27th, ISSl. 

^^t Mtu^ontv 



They who believe that they have Truth ask no favour, save that of being heard : they dare the 
judgment of Mankind : refused Co-operation, they invoke Opposition, for Opposition is their 
Opportunity. — Eoitor. 


Freethinkers have said that the professions of Christianity are belied by its 
practices — that even when it utters the words of peace its spirit is the spirit of 
strife. Freethinkers have said that Christianity is incompatible with Liberty, in- 
compatible with Progress, incompatible with Fraternity. ' Calumniators on 
principle !' ci'ie& the pious partisan. ' False !' shouts the gentle-souled student of 
the Sermon on the Mount. ' Haters of every thing holy 1' exclaims the exact 
Preacher— ' the Christian, in whatever station, exemplifies and promotes unity 
among men : he is ever forward to promote good offices and good works.' A short 
narrative of the events in Whitehaven on the occasion of my recent visit there 
may throw useful light on these professions. 

Some years ago, when mere enthusiasm was supposed sufficient for the advocacy 
of a cause, a Social Missionary went down to this town and created a somewhat 
premature astonishment by issuing a placard giving the inhabitants the interest- 
ing information that the Devil and Socialism were in Whitehaven. The good 
people were in no want of this assurance, as they were already of opinion that the 
Devil was the official propagator of that system ; and when they were told it upon 
the authority of one of our own placards, they resolved to treat the matter in a 
Christian spirit, and the magistrates of the town seconding their laudable endea- 
vours, windows were broken, lives endangered; and the natural penalty of the 
' sensational ' policy, a panic, seized those who acquiesced in it, and fear and utter 
inaction have been the fruits. 

On the occasion referred to, the Cumberland Pacquet applauded 'the display of 
feeling on the part of the populace, so creditable to their love of religion, morality, 
and social order.'' For an entire wefik this ' creditable ' display continued — fire was 
set in a dangerous manner to the premises of one of the friends. And many were 
the letters addressed to the newspapers by persons who had to repudiate Social 
views in order to exempt themselves from the violence of the mob. This was a 
triumph of the enemy which of all others I can last forget and forgive 

The panic occasioned by these outrages lasted till the period of my visit. Indeed 
no one had ventured into the town since the Riots as the advocate of Rationalistic 
opinion. A mob who had once tasted the pleasure of riot, encouraged by the 
authorities, do not soon relinquish such a luxury. And the present temper of the 
magistracy was shown in the decision on Hughan's case, whose assailant they 
justified. Upon learning this I offered to go down there and lecture upon that 
unusual magisterial proceeding, but my offer was declined more on the ground of 
the danger and the cost. Finding myself soon after likely to be northwards I 
renewed my offer on terms within available means. A friend who took an active 
part in the arrangement (of whom I shall have more to communicate) burst a 
blood vessel and died instantaneously a week before my arival. The animosity 

INo. 2/5.] [No. 16, Vol. XI.] 




shown to the living was not spared the dead, and the burial service was refused to 
Lennon's remains. To himself, to his friends, who shared his opinions, this was 
of no consequence, but the spirit of it was an outrage to his wife and family. On 
this occurrence excitement was renewed, and coarse and cruel things were said by 
the religious. The populace who throng the Bulwarks, remem bering the licence 
granted them before by the magistrates, and which had to be censured by Sir 
James Graham, the Secretary of State at the time, indicated their intention of 
renewing the old scenes at my lectures — a distinction which I certainly did not 
covet. On arriving in the town on the 7th instant, I found that everybody who 
approached me had visible in his countenance or in his speech the most dismal 
apprehensions. Of the reality of some unusual dread I was assured, by the fact 
that the women shared it. Hitherto I had found them under such circumstances 
to be the last to utter a word of discouragement in danger, but here they diflFused 
panic around them. The men had much to contend against in this way. Some 
houses I was assured had been like houses of mourning ever since my offer to 
come to Whitehaven had been accepted — and towards Tuesday night women 
who had addressed me courteously on previous days, no longer spoke or looked at 
me, and I purposely avoided the houses of all I knew, to whom I seemed some 
evil genius. Indeed I was sorry for them. So pale and anxious was the aspect 
they wore that there was no mistaking their terror. The ignorant and desperate 
Irish population were dreaded, as their prejudices were known to-be above the 
reach of reason, and a colliery population (of Lord Lonsdale's, if I remember 
rightly) were no less dreaded. It was in vain that I urged that the charges for 
admission (3d. to the Gallery, 6d. to the Pit, and Is. to the Boxes) would keep 
them away. The answer was they would force the door. If they do, I rejoined, 
they cannot reach the stage to interrupt the Lecture. 'But they say they will come 
armed with stones to throw them down on the lecturer, the chairman, and whoever 
is on the stage,' was the gratifying information I received. Thinking that so 
much ingenuity ought not to lack appropriate exercise, T arranged to be my own 
chairman, that the fortunate objects of their aim being diminished to unity, it 
might be more to their credit if they hit it. Many stories repeated to me of the 
strength, ferocity, and unmanliness of our expected assailants confirmed these re- 
ports of their intentions. Corroborations too came from more imposing quarters 
than rumour. The proprietor of the Theatre, departing from the course he bad 
pursued in some recent lettings of the place, ^Srrote to demand previous payment, 
* as he had been given to understand there was likely to be a disturbance.' ' Sup- 
pose we should be prevented using the place the second night, would yon demand 
payment for both ?' ' Certainly,' was the answer, ' and we demand payment for both 
now before entered upon.' Payment was of course made. When in Newcastle- 
on-Tyne a party of religious Whitehaven people, accidently meeting at Johnson's 
Hotel, assured me that I should not be heard in their town, and that it was of no 
use that I went. One gentleman present came to me privately and said * do not 
let these persons alarm you.' ' Certainly,' I said, ' they ■^ill not deter me. Were I 
to be deterred by these kind of alarmists I should never go anywhere.' But as 
they were respectable men in congregational connection, and not of the mob, the 
ramification of opposition seemed to pervade all classes. One man stepped into the 
shop of a respectable tradesman in the town of Whitehaven after I reached the 
town, and said that the Theatre would be pulled down that night, the night of 
the first lecture. At the last hour things began to wear an agreeable aspect. A 
piece of news arrived, namely, that the sergeant of police had been heard saying 


that ' there would be blood and slaughter in the Theatre that night, and he should 
order his men to keep out of the way, as they were not going to get their heads 
broken.' I was behind the scenes when this pleasant bitof intelligence was brought 
in. It was certainly a great comfort to those who paid police rates to hear of this 
public spirited speech. Those who relied on the police for the preservation of 
the peace of the town, and the protection of strangers in it, were delighted at the 
cheering prospect thus held out of assistance. If would be fine times with the 
disorderly and the anarchists if that discriminating sergeant were Commissioner 
of Police for the metropolis. Colonel Mayne ought not to allow such 

A gem to blush unseen, 

And waste his sweetness on Whitehaven air. 

However, in justice to the police corps, let me say that this sergeant's superior 
showed a somewhat different spirit. The superintendent of police was waited 
upon at my request, by a respectable inhabitant, and a request made for two 
policemen to be placed at the doors. He said two would be on duty on that beat, 
and pass the doors every five minutes, and he himself would look in as often as his 
duties allowed. Did I feel afraid ? asked some friends. I answered, ' Perhaps I 
should, but as my engagement was to Lecture and not to fear, 1 thought I was 
excluded from the privilege of feeling apprehension.' I maintained that there never 
could be a quarrel unless there were two parties to it, and that I was not going to 
be one. My experience has shown me that men of rudest natures can never break 
out into outrage at once — they wait for some pretext or provocation, and if you do 
not afford this they must go home disappointed. Upon this I relied. With re- 
spect to reports I advised my friends not to listen to them, to treat them with 
incredulity, and preserve a quiet but determined bearing. For every one to go 
and tell every one that an attack was expected, was to make a disturbance inevit- 
able. We should have been obliged to get up a disturbance ourselves to prevent 
the public suffering from disappointment. 

It has been the case that some of our friends have spoken at the Bulwarks, where 
the idle and disorderly assemble in too gi'eat a proportion for any good to be done, 
or even peace preserved. Thus an unwise connection is established between us 
and the mob. Seeing the uncultivated and vulgar natures of the opponents with 
which I had to deal, I took the method of combating them through their own pre- 
judices. A friend in Newcastle-on-Tyne, of some insight in these matters, had 
ordered me a white silk hat. Its newest gloss of unworn brightness was upon it. 
I put this on, and also anew coat, which my itinerant wardrobe happened fortunately 
to afford, and immediately sallied out alone to inspect the camps of the enemy, 
and to show myself to the foe. I knew that there is a divinity doth hedge a gentle- 
man as well as a king, and that appearance would find a response where principle 
would find none. Nor was I deceived. The local mobs made way for me, twenty 
yards before I approached them, and those who would have knocked me down had I 
worn a ' shocking bad hat,' stepped involuntarily out of the way. They respected 
my attire who would have had no mercy on myself or my views. As I was re- 
spectable they thought I might have friends, that it might not prove so safe to 
assault me. A ' seedy ' dress would have ruined me. 

An hour before the time of commencing the first lecture I was at the Theatre — 
saw all the lights ready and the doors all manned (by a group of able friends just 
out of sight), so that no hiatus could occur which might give the enemy an ad- 
vantage. Strong men, who ought to have been present at the lecture, stayed away 
through fear. Others approached our encampment cautiously, reconnoitreing the 


foe from the angles of Irish Street, and only made advances when all seemed 
quiet. But a sufficient body of friends, whose affections on this occasion I tested 
by the strength of their arms, came forward bravely and manned the doors, and 
diffused themselves over the Theatre in those parts where the Christians were 
thickest, and held themselves ready either to listen to the lecture or help a re- 
fractory neighbour into the street as the case might require. Wherever two or 
three Christians were gathered together, there were we in the midst of them. I 
owed my safety to the address and courage of my friends in this way. As soon as 
I had seen the posts occupied, I carefully examined the resources of the Theatre 
for fortification, defence, or retreat, and I am now in a condition to afford to any 
Company of Players, who may have an eye to Thespian honours in Whitehaven, 
the most accurate information as to the fittings of the Green-room, the portability 
of the scenes, and the state of the bolts on the doors or through the doors, with a 
ground plan of the premises around. The precautions I took would have been 
superfluous in a Christian. The true believer, having a mansion in his Father's 
house, sees in death but an agreeable change of residence — but to others not so 
certain as to a celestial estate. Manslaughter amounts to an entire disinhentance, 
and therefore they decline that casaalty when obtmded on them prematurely. 


[To be completed next week.] 

OuB enthusiastic ' Brother Dick ' desires us to make known the following address 
from his pen : — 

Hottentots, French, Esquimaux, British, Xew Zealanders, Germans, Turks, and 
Indians, are all brothers. Man is wholly fallen. What is the cause of his fall ? 
Is it not carnality ? What is the cause of carnality ? And the remedy ? Carnal 
food makes man carnal ? The word carnal comes from the Latin word caro, 
camis — flesh. Is it then not reasonable to believe that flesh-food makes a man 
fleshly or carnal ? Is a carnal man a godly man ? Is he fit to appear for final 
judgment ? Did God make any life to be sacrificed ? How long are we to forget 
that Jesus was nailed to the cross on Calvary I He trampled upon carnality, and 
died pure and holy. Heathen and Christian are brothers, and can understand 
this. And may God have mercy on us all ! Do we believe in God ? 

Are we not steeped in shame ? Now is the time to seek the canse thereof, and 
having got that, let us rid ourselves of all that is bad. Why not live in continual 
sunshine ? The cause of all is self — at the heart. Carnality — a word many dis- 
like to hear; why? because, like the writer, they have suffered from that fearful 
vice. The canse of carnality is known to all. Flesh-food makes man fleshly; he 
thereby is not whole ; he dies before his time. No man can stop half-way in the 
search of Truth — he must go on. Relaxation is bad — the reaction must be felt 
afterwards. How then arrive at the Truth ? Get rid of carnality, and the battle 
is gained. Can we forget how nobly Christ fought and died ? Flesh makes us 
fleshly. May God soon make us pure and holy. Great father have mercy on us ! 
Now is the appointed time ; now is the day of salvation ! The time is come when 
the world must fall down and confess its faults before God ! 

Meeting every Sunday, at 11 a.m., at 67, Great Russell Street, Bloorasbury. 
Brother C. M. Dick will speak. The Revelations must be fulfilled. [Of course 
they must. — Ed.] 



(Sysminntian at t^t \Btti9» 

Sketches in Scotland, by Thomas Cooper. — From communications of Mr. 
Cooper, in the Leader and Northern Star, entitled ' Notes of Travel and Talk," we 
take the following extracts from his Scottish experiences : — We landed at Ardros- 
san by eight in the evening (leaving Belfast at one in the afternoon of Saturday), 
and in less than two hours I was in the streets of Glasgow, and was welcomed by 
the hospitality of my friend Mr. Clarke, a Unitarian minister. I had never been 
in Scotland before ; and though I had heard much of the beauty of Edinburgh, no 
one had ever praised the appearance of Glasgow in my bearing. I therefore saw 
its Argyle Street, its Exchange, and its squares aud streets to the west with the 
utmost surprise. I do not hesitate to say that the western part of Glasgow is 
more stately and better built than any town in England except London. It is 
true that the contrast between 'the wynds of the old town, and these superb parts 
of the new, is very notable; but the contrasts in London are fully as remarkable. 
The first entire day I spent in Scotland being a rainy Sunday, all who are well 
acquainted with the country will have some guess of my misery, especially as I 
had no talking duty to attend to. What sombre looks — what dismal clanking of 
the single bells in the churches — what a dreary closing of every shop and house 
— what long solemn drawling in most lugubrious minors, under the name of * psalm 
tunes,' as you pass the kirks — what troops of people all wending solemnly to the 
kirk, and looking neither to the right hand nor to the left ! I wandered hither and 
thither, gazing at the buildings, till I was wet and faint (for I never can control 
my curiosity when I enter a fresh city) — and I sought a place of entertainment, 
but none could I find open : nothing to be had either to eat or drink — it was — awful 
word in Scotland — ' the Sabbath !' I began to feel as bitter as the Scotch Sabbath 
itself, and looked about for a cab ; but I had to plod my dreary way down many 
a street before I found one, and then away T went, and esconced myself among my 
friend Clarke's books. I was in and out of Glasgow for more than three weeks, 
passing four times to talk at Paisley, and sundry other times to talk at Barrhead, 
Kilbarchan, and Campsie. In Glasgow itself I addressed audiences five times in 
the Unitarian chapel, and once in the Lyceum, Nelson Street. I soon found the 
intellectual atmosphere to be verv difierent from that of Belfast. It was no longer 
diflBcult to make oneself understood, or touch the chord of sympathy ; but I was 
evidently talking to a critical people. I had the same impression all the way 
through Scotland; and everywhere I was surrounded by working men who gave 
powerful indications of mind — though I did not think every individual I met free 
from wrongheadedness, nor, above all, conceit. Indeed there is too much vain 
talk about ' our Scotch education,' and a most ungracious and discourteous under- 
valuing of the mental training of the English. Of course this is to be found 
among those Scotchmen who have never been out of Scotland. It is time all these 
foolish prejudices were laid aside. Scotchmen ought to know that throughout the 
whole length and breadth of England working men are as eager for education 
and in as great numbers, too, as the working men to be found anywhere north 
of the Tweed. But their prejudice is not confined to the notion of their superior 
education. The majority of the Scotch — ay, even they who are professed free- 
thinkers—evince such a tenderness respecting their * Sabbath,' that if you happen 
to hum a line of a song or to whistle on the Sunday, they look as if they were 
about to swoon. You tell them that you regard their notion of the Sunday as 
absurdly tyrannous, and creative of hypocrites. They do not deny it ; but they 



answer with a stolid solemnity that provokes your mirth, ' Ay, but it is our Scottish 
Sabbath !' — and there they think the conversation ought to end. One of the most 
vinegar instances of Sabbatarianism that I met in Scotland, was at Paisley. The 
friend who had been commissioned to invite me to talk there directed me to a 
Temperance Hotel. On the Sunday, having spent the forenoon in writing letters 
in my sleeping room (not being allowed to write them elsewhere), I went down 
stairs, towards two o'clock, and said cheerfully, ' Now, landlord, what have you got 
for dinner?' The man's face became three inches longer! 'Dinner, sir,' he 
answered, 'do you not ken it's the Sabbath ?' The words, and the man's look, 
were so strange that I asked him, in my perplexity, what he said, although I had 
heard him plainly enough. He repeated his question, and I could not help, some- 
how or other, appealing to his satanic majesty whether such a question was not 

strange. ' "What the d ,' said I, ' has the Sabbath to do with my dinner ? Do 

you think an Englishman is to go without his dinner, because it is what you call 
the Sabbath ?' He looked unutterable things, but, without saying more, went into 
the kitchen, and began conversing in a low tone with the landlady. Very soon he 
beckoned me, and when I had rejoined him he said in a mysterious tone, ' Ye ken 
if ye'll stay till the people are gone to the kirk I'll get ye a steak !' I was in danger 
of laughing in his face, though he looked inexpressibly serious. When his com- 
pany (who had been sitting silently in various rooms, discussing biscuits, tracts, 
and teetotal drinks) had disappeared, the steak was brought up. I asked wag- 
gishly, if he could not give me a drop of porter. ' Nay, nay,' he replied very 
firmly, ' nae porter.' The man was truer to his teetotalism than to his sour 
Sabbatarianism, after all ! His conscience was bound by appearances in one case, 
and it led to hypocrisy. In the other it was guided by conviction, and he preserved 
his truth. Of course I did not trouble him with my company again. The following 
Sunday when I had to be at Paisley again, I went to the principal inn, and there 
dinner was served up, and all things went on as they do in any English hotel. 
The lesson was not lost upon me. I took care never to be sourly circumstanced 
again while in Scotland. It is this gloomy, slavish, soul -grinding doctrine and 
practice of Sabbatarianism, which raises one's combativeness perpetually in Scot- 
land. As for a little conceit of their * education,' why I suppose we must excuse 
it. Englishmen have also their conceit ; and so ' let that pass.' The sturdy in- 
dependence of some, and the natural cheerfulness of the many, among the Scotch, 
makes one wonder that this irksome bondage is borne so long. The rise of the 
' Free Kirk,' too, they say, has tightened the general bondage — for the new sect 
vies with the old in setting the exam pie of strictness. I heard that some parties had 
been summoned before the authorities in Arbroath, and fined for walking out on 
the Sunday ! Perhaps it is to be desired that such instances should increase — 
even till they attempt to nail up people's doors and windows on the Sunday. May 
the Scotch have enough of it, say I — till they end it ! 

Exeter Hall. — This fine building, situated in the Strand, at the Surrey foot 
of Blackfriars Bridge, was founded by Nell Gwynne, in 1672, as an asylum for 
Mad Missionaries, but when the Castlemaine party came into power it was turned 

into a play-house and continued so for many years During May certain days 

are set apart for the exhibition of the Howling Dervishes, and crowds are attracted 
by their performance. At present there are suppers and singing every night after 
the theatres. The hall may be hired for Bals Masques, Poses Plastiques, and 
similar diversions by application to the secretary. — The Month, by Albert Smith. 



Se^ug, anif rt)e Maval ^iSjpecW of Cfjrtdttantts* 

BY W. J. B. 

Matthew tells us, in his 4th chapter,that 
' From that time Jesus began to preach, 
and to say, Repent, for the kingdom of 
heaven is at hand.' We can see nothing 
remarkable in this declaration ; we think 
it very much wanting in plainness. He 
does not tell his hearers what they were 
to repent of; he tells them why they 
are to repent — because ' the kingdom of 
heaven is at hand.' He here deals in 
equivocation or error. If that memo- 
rable enigma, the * kingdom of heaven,' 
were to stand for any event which might 
happen, it was an equivocation ; if it 
was meant as it was taken, that some 
glorious time was to succeed for the 
Jews — or, in reality, that heaven was to 
come down upon earth — it was a mistake, 
which has been corroborated by more 
than eighteen hundred years of disap- 

How are we to interpret repentance? 
We can only interpret it by what imme- 
diately follows — by the method pursued 
with the first converts. Peter and An- 
drew, brothers, were fishing : Jesus tells 
them to give up fishing. James and 
John were mending their nets with their 
father : Jesus called them, and they im- 
mediately left the ship and their father, 
and followed him. Now we might call 
this a repentance of good works. If this 
kind of thing was re-enacted in our day, 
men would say it would be more moral 
for the first pair to have stuck to their 
fishing, instead of being seduced by the 
expectation held out of catching men. We 
think the second pair should have con- 
tinued mending their nets, particularly 
as it appears they had a father to sup- 
port. They did not repent of their filial 
duty, and they would be found at their 
post of duty when the kingdom of heaven 
came, whether in the shape of heaven 
coming to earth or their going in their 
death to heaven. We do not see the 
value of faith in this instance. Peter 
was actually catching fish, which employ- 

ment he leaves at the idea of catching 
men, without even asking what is meant 
by catching men. It clearly appeared 
that he was easily caught. 

Jesus seems,in many respects, to have 
overlooked the definiteness of conduct 
and speech which it became him as a 
moralist to enforce by his own example. 
From his miscellaneous bearing,it would 
appear that no one else was to show 
anger or call names, but he was privi- 
leged to give names to things and shower 
abuse on his brethren. Others were to 
bless their enemies, and to do good to 
those who did them ill ; but he was to 
revenge himself, and confer eternity of 
punishment on those who spoke against 
or did not believe in him. We ask 
whether his was not a religion of fear, 
not of love, and therefore immoral ? Is 
not anger immoral ? and fearing to give 
oflfence is the feeling of slaves towards a 

One evangelist tells us a story of 
what happened on the occasion of his 
crucifixion, which brings to mind a 
striking peculiarity of Jesus. Accord- 
ing to Luke, the two thieves debated the 
divinity of Christ. The ruling passion 
strong in death, Jesus caught at a con- 
vert, and promised him that day he 
should be with him in Paradise. Was 
this the only barren result of revelation, 
and his crucifixion on the cross, and his 
stay on earth, that he brought home a 
friend — and such a friend — the first 
fruits of preaching ofiered by the son to 
the father ? Now what we wanted was 
an example of his moral doctrine, proof 
whereby we might believe in the efficacy 
of it. Jesus let this last opportunity 
pass as before; one was to be saved 
because he believed in him, the other 
was to be damned because he did not. 

But we have not so much to do with 
this new religion as with the moral 
aspect of it. Here was an occasion to 
bless his enemies and forgive sinners ! 



He should have said, ' Though the one 
has had grace to believe without seeing, 
yet the other is equally saved by my 
death. I came to bless my enemies, 
and not curse them ; I came to return 
good for evil, even good for ignorance, 
error, or incredulity. As I have t;iught 
that my father in heaven treats alike the 
good and the bad, as the father on earth 
behaved to his prodigal son, so shall I 
be glad to see my enemy in Paradise 
as well as my friend. Did not I say 
" Father, forgive them, for they know 
not what they do V should I not there- 
fore forgive him who qannot know what 
he does ?' 

We would give ministers of the Gos- 
pel this piece of advice — to follow what 
they are fond of styling the practical of 
the morality of the Gospel. We would 
advise them to study what can be done 
in conversion by distributing the loaves 
and the fishes after the manner of Chiist. 
Though they cannot work miracles, yet 
they have plenty to give away. They 
act too much the part of Dives, and the 
people do not even see the crumbs which 
fall from the rich man's table; much 
less are many thousands fed at their 
hands from the loaves and fishes they 
are able to collect. We would advise 
them to turn the sacrament into a real 
celebration, as seems to have been its 
purport — a supper of remembrance. As 
far as the poor are concerned, there 
would be some sense in saying ' This is 
true Christianity, which, except a man 
believe, he cannot be saved ;' for who 
can be saved in time without subsis- 
tence ? 

Many of the remarks of Jesus call for 
the most unqualified exercise of faith to 
credit them. The cases are similar to 
that of the Mormon who said, what was 
the*use of his walking over the Missis- 
sippi, when his people believed that he 
could do it ? Under such circumstances 
their faith was much more to their credit 
than if he did it. They could believe 
no more if they saw him walk on the 
water. In the same inanuer we need 
discipline on being told by Christ that 
the penitent thiet should be with him 
that day in Paradise, when he, we are 
told by the churrli, had to descend into 
Hell at the same time. But to dwell 
chiefly on moial aspects, and moral 
inconclusivenesses. Considering what 

power of working miracles Christ pos- 
sessed, what implicit trust he inculcated 
in the Providence of the falling sparrows, 
it was curious that the son of man had 
not where to lay his head. Had that 
father who had provided holes for foxes 
and nests for birds, forgotten beds for 
his children, for whom he was to provide 
meat and drink so abundantly ? A case 
warranting distrust was that where we 
find that the Fulfiiler of the Scriptures 
took refuge for the night on board a ship, 
and a storm arose which woke the crew 
from their sleep. There is a species 
of immorality in all this inconclusive- 
ness on a matter of so much moment in 
a prudential point of view. Again, when 
Jesus tells the son to follow him, who 
should have buried his father, the thing 
is open to important misconception, and 
seems a violation of the command of un- 
doubted excellence — ' honour thy father 
and mother.' When the devils said, 
' why do you come to torment us before 
our time ?' it seems as if his mission 
were to torment. It is a wonder people 
can sit down and hear such an account 
read, Sunday after Sunday, and call 
Christ the sinless\man. 

The inhabitants in one district did not 
wish to see any more miracles performed, 
and with a forbearance which he preached 
but did not practice, they respectfully 
begged he would depart out of their coast. 
In the instructions he gave, when he 
sent forth the twelve, he might teach 
them to be wise, but he certainly did not 
to be harmless. They were prepared to 
bite as serpents, and we may believe it 
from subsequent results, if you did not 
take warning and get out of their way. 
Their serpent wisdom was indeed to be 
butintellectual — they were to be as harm- 
less as doves. But men whose wisdom is 
modelled on the serpent's, find curious 
and questionable modes ot harmlessness 
in the development and maintenance of 
their spiritual power. He told them 
they need not provide anything, they 
were worthy of their meat. They were 
to live on any persons they liked, but if 
such persons would not receive them, it 
would be more tolerable for Sodomites 
than for them in the day of judgment. 
We think this was very politic, and 
easily accounted for their taking up the 
profession — but we ask if it were moral 
in Jesus? They should have blessed 



those who would not receive them. 
Fancy every tramper saying he came to 
preach the kingdom of heaven to us, and 
therefore he must have board and lodg- 
ing — should we refuse it, consigning us 
to hell fire ! 

This was a sort of ordination sermon 
to the apostles, without any practical 
word of peace in it. We know what 
effect it has had on those who have en- 
joyed the privileges of apostolical suc- 
cession. We would ask if these were 
the glad tidings to preach to all men ? 
Besides, the instructions were as contra- 
dictory as any of those delivered by 
Charles James, Bishop ot London. They 
were to beware of men, yet they were 
not to care for them. They were to be 
scourged and put to death ; yet, before 
they had gone over the cities of Israel, 
he was to come— meaning, of course, that 
his kingdom was to be established. He 
informed them they were to cause the 
brother to deliver up the brother to 
death, the father the child, and the 
children to put their parents to death. 
And they were to be hated of all men. 
They were quite mistaken, he said, if 
they thought he had come to send peace 
on the earth. They thought, as some 
people think now, he meant what he said 
in the sermon on the mount. Yet what 
can we make of that sad and too memo- 
rable passage ? ' Think not that I am 
come to send peace on the earth ; I came 
not to send peace, but a sword. For I 
am come to set a man at variance against 
his father, and the daughter against her 
mother, and the daughter-in-law against 
her mother-in-law ; and a man's foes 
shall be they of his own household. He 
that ioveth father or mother more than me 
is not worthy of me ; and he that Ioveth 
son or daughter more than me is not 
worthy of me.' There is good reason to 
distrust all doctrine, by whomsoever 
preached, that justifies this sort of he- 

Jesus, from comparatively very insuf- 
ficient reasons, and before he began to 
explain why, addresses Scribes, Phari- 
sees, and lawyers in the harshest lan- 
guage. We ask if they preached any 
such doctrine as Jesus did ? Did they 
say they came to bring a sword into the 
world, or preach doctrines that might 
destroy all social and family relations ? 
Their political character was the pre- 

servation of peace at any price, and some 
unity in religion and among the people. 
Christians talk of their ftelings ; had 
not the Jews — the Pharisees, Sadducees, 
lawyers, Scribes, &c.— feelings ? Was 
it not a flagrant injury to their feelings 
to be told the mission of one who must 
seem to them as an adventurer was to 
introduce internecine division into the 
nation, and possibly endanger the purest 
and holiest feelings of the family, which 
had hitherto, in the estimation of the 
world, constituted the cement of morality 
and society ? Was it pleasant to be 
told, not only the above, but that their 
city and nation would be destroyed, and 
eternal burnings were reserved for them, 
who in his disordered imagination he 
spoke of so opprobriously because they 
did not believe in him ? Was it not 
insult enough to ask them to believe in 
him, who proclaimed what in their esti- 
mation were immoral doctrines? But, 
allowing them strong religious feelings 
as well as Christians — and nobody de- 
nies but they had — was it not insulting 
them in the tenderest point to ask them 
to give up their God, whom they thought 
superhuman, and to worship a man, the 
son of a carpenter, and have their sins 
forgiven by fishermen ? Not only their 
history and their customs were violated 
by such pretensions in Jesus, but their 
laws were infringed by his doctrines and 
his miracles. Do not these constitute 
what is called the feelings of persons ? 
Are they not shaped by habit, by history, 
ancestry, and by legislation ? Not only 
did Jesus delight in what must seem to 
his respectable hearers as abuse, but he 
took pleasure in confounding the Jews, 
and acting counter to their prejudices. 
Such were most of his answers, so con- 
trived that the Jewish inquirers should 
injure themselves either with the Ro- 
mans or the populace. Of the like des- 
cription, and worse in regard to their 
religious scruples, was his telling them 
they should drink his blood, when he 
must have known that they were forbid- 
den by their law to taste of the blood of 
animals, much less human blood. As 
a natural consequence, many left him at 
such sayings. 

' Ye know not what manner of spirit 
ye are of ; lor the son of man is not 
come to destroy men's lives, but to save.' 
This was Jesus's answer to his disciples 



for proposing to call down fire from 
heaven on a Samaritan village which 
had refused to receive him. We think 
the disciples reasoned justly from the 
Old Testament and what Jesus had told 
them of himself. If God, by his angels, 
had before brought down such punish- 
ment on a rebellious city, why could 
not Jesus do the same, who said he had 
the same power, and threatened much 
worse consequences for much slighter 
offences against his will ? It is evident 
how they took his sayings and teachings, 
and that he had misled them. The ig- 
norance with which he charged them 
was his rhetorical fault. It is quite 
evident how his disciples construed his 
power and intentions, and even after he 
was dead saw it in that light. Peter, 
ready with the sword during his life, 
after it struck a man dead for a very 
venial offence. It is the only instance 
recorded, but shows what manner of 
spirit they were of, which manner of 
spirit they persisted in thinking was 
Jesus's. They were the best judges ; 
and if they received his teachings and 
sayings in a wrong spirit, the danger of 
them is clearly proved to us. It is no- 
thing to say he would not do it. Any 
such modern Messiah we should declare 
a mischievous teacher, one that could 
not inspire his own disciples with a right 

Whately says Jesus's instructions to 
his disciples when he sent them forth, 
that those should burn who did not 
receive them, has been the great argu- 
ment for persecution ever since. Chris- 
tians have reasoned. Better disbelievers 
should endure burning at once than for 
ever, or a few be burned as an example, 

than a great many be burned for ever — 
or better be extirpated, that they be no 
more, and only those left who will receive 
us and be saved. 

Why did not one so kind and gentle, 
as Jesus is by some painted, at once put 
the truth of Christianity beyond all doubt 
or rejection by evidence of that univer- 
sal character which commands the adhe- 
rence of men, and so save mankind 
from local persecution and future judg- 
ment ? All we can say is that the 
councils of God ordered it otherwise. 
But this is to remove the question beyond 
the province of human reason entirely, 
and to give up the proper moral and 
human defence of Christ's system. 

We can sympathise with John the 
Baptist, who, in prison, doubted the 
authenticity of Jesus's mission from 
heaven. He doubted when he heard of 
his works. The works did not seem to 
him sufficient, or were of that character 
that they might have as well belonged 
to a false prophet as a true. It was 
Christ's want of success which probably 
struck John, and that sort of success 
which John might have expected would 
have delivered him from prison. But 
the promised kingdom never came, and 
the Baptist lost his head before he had 
to pass an opinion on Jesus's kingdom 
ending in his crucifixion. When Jesus 
sent to say that he raised up the dead, 
we think the Baptist's head had a prior 
claim to have been put upon its shoulders. 
But Jesus could never exert his power 
by a more palpable, adroit, politic, or 
just act than by the vindication of his 
pretension and defence of his decapitated 


©ur ^Blatfarm. 

From which any earnest opponent may controvert our opinions, and from which any may expound views 
not coincident with our own, if tending to the Rationalisation of Theology. 


[After Mr. Holyoake's second lecture in Edinburgh, on * Catholicism the Type 
of the Churches around us,' he received the following letter. We shall be glad to 
receive from Valerius his proposed Tract.] 

Sir, — In your lecture yesterday evening, you gave, I think, as the reason for the 
first success of Christianity, the conviction impressed by its first apostles, and 
entertained by the Pagans to whom they preached it, that it (Christianity) was 
more reasonable thdia the older religious systems it was advanced to supplant. 

Now, although such a statement is no doubt in a general sense quite true, and 
though it suits very well the tenor of your excellent lecture of yesterday evening, 
yet you ought to be aware that the true reason for the success and spread of Chris- 
tianity is to be found in its origin, and that its origin is clearly to be traced to 
Paganism. In short, if we examine into the matter, we shall find that Christianity 
is just Paganism with a new face. 

As to time, the origin of Christianity is just so far posterior to the fall of the 
Roman empire as we should expect it to be on the supposition that Christianity 
was the same religion (viz.. Paganism) revived under entirely new political and 
sacerdotal auspices. As to place, the origin of Christianity is not to be searched 
for in Judea, as the abounding geographical and other errors in the New Testament 
of themselves almost prove; but in Alexandria, where a fresh school of philosophy 
sprang from the ashes of the Roman and Grecian systems of philosophy and 

The Therapeutin monks (the Essenes), who, before any such thing or system as 
Christianity had an embodiment as Christianity, certainly did exist as a body of 
scholastic religionists ; and they were, beyond doubt, the authors of all our New 
Testament epistles except that of John, which, there is good evidence to show, was 
written long subsequent to the establishment of what we call Christianity. The 
probabilities are greatly in favour of the belief, that under the personification of 
Jesus Christ these Essenes embodied a metaphysical doctrine, or else an astrono- 
mical idea. At all events, it is quite clear, and admitted I believe by at least one 
continental biblical expositor, that no Jew originated the story of Jesus Christ. 

The points to which 1 have adverted are of great importance, and, as it seems to 
me, cut at the root of Christianity altogether. The serious fact once proved — 
and there are, if not ample, at least very formidable evidences in its favour — that 
the story of Jesus Christ is a myth of the Alexandrian school of philosophy, the 
whole of the miracles and prophecies fall to the ground at once, and a chal- 
lenge of historical criticism is presented to the evidencists of Christianity. 

Minds are, indeed, so differently constituted that it may not seem so to you. 
You may conceive that to lop off the branches is a more hopeful effort than to aim 
at the giant roots of that tremendous upas tree whose shadow darkens Chritendom, 
And in one sense you are very right. To a popular assembly it is undoubtedly 
better to lecture as you do well lecture. 

But, to a certain class of minds, the point of view I have indicated is that from 
which Christianity ought perhaps to be attacked. In your paper it has sometimes 
been so attacked, and this I hope may be repeated. 


For my own part, I shall be happy, if it suits your editorial arrangements, to 
write an article on the origin of Christianity, in which I shall endeavour to show 
that it (Christianity) is Paganism revived under new auspices. The article might 
be embodied in one of your Reasoner tracts, or otherwise ; but I am not anxious to 
displace any other writer in your excellent paper, and I suppose you have by you 
more articles than you can insert. 

I enclose my card with my present address (after the 15th of Sept. it will be dif- 
ferent) ; but I think it worth while to tell you, that I am one of a too numerous 
class of young professional men whose prospects in life depend, more or less, on 
their assumed allegiance to the dogmas of the day, and who dare not publish their 
true opinions, at least with their names attached to them. Were you not right in 
saying, as you did last evening, that the Christian system is essentially persecuting 
in its spirit? 

Edinburgh, Aug. 20, 1851. Valerids. 


Sir, — Will you permit me to say a word for our departed mutual friend, Charles 
George Harding? An earnest soldier of Democracy, brave, intelligent, disinte- 
rested, and devoted, he was, as you know well, ever ready with his purse, his pen, 
and his time to work in that good cause in whose ultimate triumph he so firmly 
believed. In 1847, alone and unaided, be set on foot the Republican, a journal in 
which will be found great earnestness, great candour, true chivalry, and a more 
than ordinary intelligence. Essentially a man of the people, Charles Harding 
wrote for the people, uttering their then thoughts and feelings in their own 
language. Gentle, graceful, affectionate, yet strong and firm, possessed of unfail- 
ing good temper and unwearied zeal, he passed through life a useful servant and a 
sterling ornament of our party. With a mind free from all superstition, without 
orthodox beliefs of any kind, Republican in politics and Rationalist in religion, 
yet full of belief in the great truths of nature, full of reverence of the great men 
and great thoughts of humanity, he lived and died (alas ! too young) an honourable 
man and a noble citizen. His was one of those happily balanced minds which 
never fret at difficulties, but work on, ever stedfast and ever believing. His was one 
of those genial hearts which see more of gladness in human life than sorrow, with- 
out selfishly ignoring that sqrrow, sympathising, kindly, generous, true. Where 
work was to be done, there in the midst of it was Charles Harding ; where sym- 
pathy was needed, from the fountains of his warm heart it sprang up clear and 
fresh and abounding. 

But, alas ! the seeds of that fatal disease which robbed us of Robert Nicoll were 
implanted in his system ; and on the 22nd, only twenty-six years old, after great 
Buffering, gently and unmurmuringly borne, he died true to his early and cherished 
convictions, and firm in his faith in our great cause. I know you will mourn with 
me the loss of one who would have fought so manfully in the coming strife ; 
and over his grave drop the tear of sincere but unavailing regret ; and in your 
heart, as I in mine, as all his friends will in theirs, inscribe his name with those of 
the true and good, whose memories wo hold in honour and remember with affection, 
and whose example helps to sustain us in the arduous path we pursue, 

August 2G, 1851. Geokob Hooper. 



The following communication, entitled ' Evangelicalism in its Results,' we take 
from the Morning Chronicle. Our Sheffield friends would render a very different 
account of the cause of the scepticism stated : — 

Sir, — The struggle between High Church and Low Church appears now to be 
deepening in intensity, as though each party had hope of being able to expel the 
other. Up to this time the conflict has been maintained chiefly upon theological 
grounds, and the combatants have been almost exclusively from among the ranks of 
the clergy, the laity being content to be well-nigh silent spectators. The question, 
however, it appears to me, has also a social aspect, which should not be overlooked. 
A remarkable illustration of what I mean has just been afibrded at Sheffield, to 
which I propose now to direct the attention of your readers. It has been the 
fortune of that town to be for many years under the control of evangelical influence 
to a greater extent, perhaps, than any other place of the same size in the kingdom 
Dr. Sutton, who has died within the last few months, was vicar for forty-six years 
and under him the evangelical system, with all its appliances of missionary meet 
ings,andladies'committees, Dorcas, district- visiting, soup, child-bed societies, &c, 
&c., had full swing. From end to end of the town the clergy of this school had 
it their own way. Among the twenty-four or twenty-five churches of Sheffield and 
its suburbs, about one half were appointed directly, and the other half virtually, 
by the vicar. And what has been the result of this undisturbed sway of evan- 
gelicalism through so long a period? Contentment its advocates would surely 
expect, and the supremacy of practical religion. Very diff^erent is the answer 
furnished by the course of events. During the simulated fever of the last few 
months, which in its theological character was simply a combination of the Low 
Church party with infidelity, to destroy the personal opponents of the former, 
Sheffield has been vigorously protesting against the regimen to which it has been 
subjected. The whole intelligence of the place is united in favour of Mr. Trevor, 
a chaplain whom the late Dr. Sutton had been striving to keep out on the charge 
of Tractarian tendencies, and who is now fighting his battle in the courts of law. 

And while this is the condition oi the more educated classes, that of the poorer 
classes is what all of every religion must deplore. In the workhouse at Sheffield 
there are now nearly 2,000 inmates, of whose spiritual condition the following 
is the summary account furnished by the undeniable evidence of their own testi- 
mony : — 1407 (that is, three-fourths of the whole) have ' declined to acknowledge 
themselves of any religious persuasion,* and thirteen have openly avowed that 
they are of none.' [Letter of the Secretary of the Poor Law Commission.] 

Such, sir, is the result of nearly half a century of evangelical teaching. Am I 
not right in saying that the dispute between the two parties in the Church ceases 
to be a theological, and has already become a social and economical, one ? If the 
legislature and the laity do not desire to see an infidel population growing up 
among us, they must no longer aff'ord their patronage to evangelicalism, Gene- 
vanism,in its own native mountains, has merged into Unitarianism ; and the same 
result, or something worse, may perhaps occur here. 

August 23, 1851. Spectator. 

* This independence on the part of poor-house residents does them great credit. In 
agricultural districts they are commonly intimidated out of their opinions. — Ed. of R. 


Sir, — A few weeks ago a number of working men in Galashiels formed them- 
selves into a class for the purpose of receiving instruction in phonography. A 
school-room was obtained, and they met once a-week after the labours of the day, 
and were making satisfactory progress in this useful art, when, to their great 
surprise, the Dominie who had granted the use of the school-room told them they 
could have it no longer, because (observe the reason) in a number of the Phonetic 
Journal which had been left on the table on a previous evening he found an article 
recommending those who were able and had opportunity, to teach the principles 
and practice of the spelling reform on the Sunday. This godly man is a member 
of the established Kirk of Scotland. W. S. 


Sir, — On the ' Open Page ' of the Reasoner 1 see that some Mr. Newton has 
been making application to know where he might obtain your publications in 
Stockport. I desire you to state in the Reasoner, for the information of Mr. 
Newton and others making similar applications from this neighbourhood, that 
John Hindle will be happy to supply all liberal and freethinking publications at 
his establishment, 9, Bridge Street Brow, Stockport. 

You may insert my name on the wrapper of the Monthly Parts, as one willing 
to correspond for the extension of the circulation of the Reasoner. 

In the Monthly Part wrapper Mr. Newton may see names of other agents as 
well as my own. John Uindle. 


Sir,— Messrs. W, and R. McPhun, Glasgow, are distinguished publishers of 
religious literature. They have just now issued a working man's family Bible for 
one pound — notes by Scott and Henry, condensed by Professor Eadie, who writes 
a preface, and new notes are supplied by the Rev. W. McGilviray. Though we 
have got to the middle of the nineteenth century, there is not, in the explanations 
to the first chapter of Genesis, one single reference to Geology, a science which 
has demonstrated that the literal meaning of that chapter is quite fabulous. But 
that is not all; in their chronological table we are told the creation is 4004 years 
before Christ— and in an explanation to the Flood we are told the fossile remains 
of eminences clearly prove it. 

A bit of Geology looks very handsome when there is no necessity to explain away 
an old popular meaning ; but mountain fossils, if further questioned, will have 
small propensity to talk of Noah's flood, and be as apt to take us back forty millions 
of years as four thousands. Professor Eadie and his reverend colleague ought to 
know that this is not the thing to combat the Rationalism the preface to said Bible 

Messrs. McPhun also attack Catholicism in a new publication, the Scottish 
Protestant, a penny weekly periodical. The front woodcut is generally from the 
most outrageous corner of the chamber of horrors. The editor has a goodly stock 




of nicknames and interjections, and there is a vulgarity about the whole would 
ruin an infidel publisher in a short time — yet this is the progress of religious de- 
fence in Glasgow. 

Barrhead, August 18th, 1851. J. T. S. 

3Reasianer Propagauira. 

To promob: the efficiency of the Reasoner as an organ of Propa^andism, one friend subscribes lOs. 
weekly, another 5s., one 2s. monthly, others Is. each weekly— others intermediate sums or special 
remittances, according to ability or earnestness. An annual contribution of Is. from each reader 
would be easy, equitable, and sufficient. What is remitted, in whatever proportion, is acknowledged 
here and accounted for at the end of the Volume. 

Acknowledged in No. 273, 583s. 6d. — A Friend, from the land of Burns, 20s. — 
Thomas PorcliflFe, Lepton, Is. — Richard Berry, do. (per Mr. Porcliffe), Is. — P. P. 
M., Greenwich, 2s. 6d. — John Gurney, Long Buckley, Is. — J. C, Is. 6d. — J. L., Is. 
— J. W. Allen, London, Is. — Per Willis Knowles, Hyde (some weeks since), 2s. — 

A. T. E., Is J, S., Oxford, 2s. 6d.— E. W., 23. 6d.— J. W. C, 2s. 61.— Isaac 

Newton, 2s. 6d. — John Russell, Barrhead, Is. 6d.— Mr. Binyon, 6d.— Total 627s. 6d. 


Literary Institution, John St.,FitzroySq.— Sept. 7 
[74], Henry Knight, ' Estate of the Christian and 
that of the Infidel compared.' Sept. lOth, [84], 
Discussion in the Coffee Room. Question, ' What 
are the best means of improving the condition of 
the working classes ?' 

Hall of Science, City Road.— Sep. 7, Closed for 

National HaU, 242, High Holborn.— Sept. 7th, 
[8], P. W. Perfitt will lecture. 

Eclectic Institute, Denmark Street, Soho. — 
Every Friday [84], Mr. J. B. O'Brien, ' Home and 
Foreign Politics.' Every Sunday [74], on ' Moral 
and Social Science.' 

Areopagus Coffee and Reading Room, 59, Church 
Lane, Whitechapel. — Every Sunday, Monday, and 
Wednesday (3), a Lecture or Discussion. 

City Forum Coffee House, 60, Red Cross Street. 
— Every Sunday, Monday, and Thursday [84], a 

Commercial Hall, Philpot Street, Commercial 
Road East. — Every Tuesday and Thursday even- 
ing [8], a Discussion. 

City Road Discussion Society, 22, City Road. — 
Discussion every Wednesday evening. 



Theodore Parker on Matters Pertaining to 
Religion. 1 vol. cloth boards 1 9 

Cooper's Purgatory of Suicides. 1 vol. 

cloth lettered 3 6 

To be had in Parts and Numbers. 
Cooper's Wise Saws and Modem Instances. 

2 vols, cloth lettered 5 

Cooper's Baron's Yule Feast. Wrapper. . 1 6 
Cooper's Eipht Letters to the Young Men 

of the Working Classes 6 

Cooper's Journal. 1 vol. cloth 3 

Do. Captain Cobler, or the Lincolnshire 

Insurrection. 1 vol 2 6 

Cerebral Physiology and Materialism. By 

W. C. Engledue, M.D ". 2 

Doubts of lundels 3 

Paine's Political Works. 2 vols, in one.. 5 

— Theological Works. 1 vol. cloth. ... 3 

— Rights of Man 1 2 

— American Crisis 1 6 

— Common Sense 6 

— Letter to the Abbe Raynal 6 

— Letters to the Citizens of the United 
States 4 

— Public Good 4 

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— First Principles of Government .... 2 

— English System of Finance 3 

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Life of Paine, by W. J. Linton 6 

Portrait of Paine, engraved on Steel 1 

The English Republic, edited by W. J. 

Linton. Nos. 1 to 7, each at 6 

Byron's Vision of Judgment 2 

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Essay on the Functions of the Brain 2 

London ; James Watson, 3, Queen's Head Pas- 
sage, Pateinoster-row. 


WORKS, reprinted and published by George 

Turner, Stoke-upon-Trent, Staffordshire. 

Just ready, price 2d., the 4th edition of 

Amativeness, or the Evils and Remedies of Exces- 
sive and Perverted Sexuality, including Warning 
and Advice to the Married and Single. 

Love and Parentage, applied to the Improve- 
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applied to the selection of congenial com- 
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use of children and youth o 3 

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use of children and youth 6 

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The whole of the abure tracts, neatly bound in 
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London ; Sold wholesale and retail by J. Watson, 
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(But Ojieit Page. 

The British organisation of the Evangelical Alliance has announced a fifth annual 
conference to be held in London, at which Professor Martin is to read a paper on 
the Aspects of Infidelity as affecting our own country. The state and prospects of 
Evangelical Religion in countries in which the French Language is spoken to be 
brought under the consideration of the Conference, in papers prepared by Napoleon 
Roussel, on Infidelity in France ; M, Grandpierre, on Sabbath Desecration in 
France J M. Burnier, on Infidelity in Switzerland. The British Banner pompously 
says, ' The meeting will be the most important ever held in this or any other land 
in present or former times. The publication of its great body of papers will be 
an era in Christian literature. The meeting itself will constitute the chief event of 
the memorable year 1851. Whether viewed in relation to Pantheism, or to Popery, 
or to Infidelity, or to Evangelism, it is in our view full of glorious promises.' 

The twenty-second Thousand of the ' Logic of Death ' is in the hands of our 

In recording the death of Mr. David Hetherington, we omitted to notice (owing 
to not being aware of it), that he left a wife. She returned to her parent's home, 
and we are informed that on the 14th of August she became a mother, and that 
herself and son are doing well. 

We thank Mr. P. for his report of the discussion at the Bowit Chapel, Preston, 
on Mr. Hamilton's lecture upon the ' True Grod ' and the ' True Priest.' 

Mr. Cook, of Bristol, has lately forwarded Reasoners to thirty ministers of that 

' The Apocryphal Psalm attributed to the Hebrew Melodist, David, but not 
believed to be his,' with which we have been favoured by a correspondent, hasa- 
tone of levity which we wish to avoid in the Reasoner. 

Mr. Shillito, of York, desires his name to be taken from our list of booksellers 
who supply the Reasoner, which appears on the wrapper of our Monthly Part. 
We trust our friends in every town will ascertain for us personally whether any 
objection exists on the part of any Agent to our publishing his name. We shall 
carefully omit all such instances. 

J. P., of Helburn Colliery, is informed that the 'Atheist Silenced' and the 
'Theist Silenced' may probably be obtained from the secretary of the Social In- 
stitution, Old Garrat Road, Manchester. None can be had in London. 

As Mr. MacDade's young friend is suffering from ill health, we do not think 
the publication of the case, however interesting, is justifiable while he is in 
that state : it might augment his aberration to find himself the subject of public 

L. S. B., of Halifax, J. Clarke, and W. Storer, of Nottingham, who sent sub- 
scriptions lately and have neglected to forward addresses, will please do so, as the 
said subscriptions are due to them again by the terms on which they were asked for. 
We have had applications recently for complete sets of the Reasoner. Any 
friends having volumes 1, 2, and 8, to spare will oblige by informing us. Being 
the only record of the class of opinions it represents during the period of its ex- 
istence, the Reasoner has begun to acquire historical value in the eyes of the curious. 
Eight shillings have been received for tracts from the John Street Tract Society, 
from friends in A., K., per 'Epicurus.' The money has been handed to the secretary. 

London: Printed by Holyoake Brothers, 3, Qu^n's Head Passage, Paternoster-row; and Published 
by J. Watson. 1, Queen's Head Passage, Paternoster-row. — Wednesday, September 3rd,